Southeast Washington county bans pot production

PROSSER, Wash. (AP) — Officials in a southeast Washington county have approved an emergency ordinance to ban new marijuana production and processing for six months.

The Tri-City Herald reports Benton County commissioners voted Tuesday in Prosser. Two commissioners voted in favor while one was excused.

Like a current retail ban, it affects new operators. It does not apply to the 47 cannabis producers and 35 processors with physical addresses in Benton County.

The moratorium will end in six months unless the county commission acts to extend it or make it permanent.

Marijuana processors and producers came under scrutiny in October when the smell of the cannabis harvest compelled Finley residents to demand action from county leaders.

Washington voters approved Initiative 502 in 2012. It passed statewide by 56 percent to 44 percent.

Benton County voters rejected the measure.