Neighbors say Everett pot shop too close to kids' hangouts, but city disagrees

EVERETT -- The city of Everett is allowed five retail pot shops. The first two opened quietly, but the third is being met with a lot of resistance from neighbors.

Neighbors say the newest shop, Purple Haze, is too close to a Camp Fire office and the Interurban Trail. They say they don't want it at that location, as it appears to break the law that says pot shops can't be within 1,000 feet of places were children gather.

Now, parents are gearing up to fight the new shop.

“I think things need to change so we have more say about what’s going on in our neighborhood,” said Candace Duce, mom to a preschooler and a kindergartner, and a resident not far from the shop.

She’s worried about marijuana users coming and going, and criminals that could be attracted to this cash only business.

“I’m terrified for their safety,” said Duce.  “We play outside all the time in our backyard, and we have our children’s friends over all the time to play and I worry about their safety, too.

“It’s just not good to have our young children being around this kind of business,” said another neighbor, Katie Arnestad.

Keeping kids from pot shops was one of the goals of the state when voters made marijuana legal, they said. But City of Everett workers say the shop takes into account area places where children gather.

“Our regulations that we have right now take into account state laws about distance from recreational facilities and things like that,” said Meghan Pembroke, spokesperson for the city of Everett.

The state apparently doesn’t  consider places like the Camp Fire office and the Interurban Trail locations places where children gather, and so neither does the city. The owner of Purpla Haze didn’t want to talk, but there is a lot of work under way to get the store up and running.

Neighbors are working too. They just hired a lawyer, and say they may take the city to court to keep their new neighbors out.

The city is expected to issue the business a retail permit sometime this week, and at that point, Purple Haze can open at any time.