A Community Website by Lopez Island
The Proposed Marijuana Grow Operation(s) on Lopez Island (Development, Planning and Permits)
Lopez Island
March 12, 2019
Posted by Carol Deckelbaum (saynolopez.com), Lopez Island

As many of you have probably already heard, the application for the Tier 3 Marijuana Application at 1995 Ferry Road has been withdrawn. We don’t know why Mr. Bentitou withdrew the application. But we do know that we won this battle! We are so grateful to you, the Lopez Community… for all the letters you have written, for your ongoing support for our efforts to find good ways to manage this new type of land use, and for your concern for our island. We also appreciate our county council who wrote a letter to the WSLCB opposing the application.

However, this is just one battle won. Mr. Bentitou has applied for another marijuana license in the name of Lopez Island Cannabis Company (and he is likely to apply for more on Lopez.) This time though it’s at his residential vacation property at 1395 Lopez Sound Road. The property on Lopez Sound Road is shoreline, designated Rural Farm Forest (RFF) and the proposed area for production and processing is within 300 feet of three residences on adjacent properties and within clear view. The property is 2.25 acres, a narrow strip of swampy waterfront, approximately 120 feet wide by 880 feet long. As you know, Mr. Bentitou has outstanding code violations on this property for building an un-permitted deck and a staircase in protected shoreline areas.

As we see it, Mr. Bentitou is taking advantage of the lack of regulations for production and processing of marijuana in San Juan County at a much-reduced cost than his large Bellevue operation, including free water from his well. The concerns for this operation are the same as his previous failed effort: excessive water usage, odors affecting properties within a ½ mile radius, the scale of the operation on a small parcel within full view of neighboring properties, and Mr. Bentitou’s outstanding code violations.

It is our position that the county must work on regulations specific for the production and processing of marijuana to protect islanders from industrial impacts not typical of other more traditional agricultural practices. We will continue to ask the council to work on these issues on our behalf, and we encourage you to do the same. We must fight for better regulations to protect us from others who might perceive a situation that can be exploited.

TO WRITE A LETTER TO THE WSLCB :

Refer to license #413450 in the name of Lopez Island Cannabis Company LLC at 1395 Lopez Sound Rd. Lopez Island, WA 98261. Laurent Bentitou is the owner of this property but he is not named in the LLC. He gifted his interest in the company to Tegan Smyth who owns 90% of the company, and Thomas Hickey, who owns 10%. NONE of these individuals live on Lopez Island.

Send emails to licensingfaxes@lcb.wa.gov

To submit your comments in writing to WSLCB:

PO Box 43098, 3000 Pacific Ave SE
Olympia, WA 98504-3098
(360) 664-1600


TO WRITE TO SAN JUAN COUNCIL:

JamieS@sanjuanco.com Jamie Stephens, represents Lopez

RickH@sanjuanco.com Rick Hughes, represents Orcas and Waldron

BillW@sanjuanco.com Bill Watson, represents San Juan Island

Thanks for reading this long post. Please email info@saynolopez.com for more information and if you would like to be added to our mailing list.


Comment

Agree
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John Ryan: The Proposed Marijuana Grow Operation(s) on Lopez Island

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With respect to Steve Snowden’s comment below, there have been a number of studies regarding water rights, availability and salt water intrusion on Lopez over the years. The 2003 study is worth a look.
Water use from a well withdrawing above 5000.... Read all
Steve Snowden: Water Usage and Salt Water Intrusion into our Aquifers

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Here are a few numbers that I've been able to find. A Tier 3 can have 30,000 sq ft of canopy and a single plant requires 2-4 sq ft, so the Bentitou grow could have 10,000 plants. While the range is large, one estimate that I found suggests that a.... Read all
Carol Deckelbaum: The Proposed Marijuana Grow Operation(s) on Lopez Island

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I sure wish those disagreeing with this post would state their case.

I think some people see the Saynolopez movement as anti-marijuana. We are not. I voted for the legalization of marijuana as many of us did. I've recently looked at the.... Read all