After withdrawing his application for a Tier 3 Marijuana Producer/Process license on Ferry Road, Laurent Bentitou is at it again. There are now TWO applications for Marijuana Producer/Processor licenses at his vacation property at 1395 Lopez Sound Road. One is a Tier 2 for Lopez Island Cannabis Company (application #413450) and the other is a Tier 3 for Ceres/Saturn (application #428265). The property on Lopez Sound Road is on protected shoreline, designated RFF. It’s 2.5 acres, a narrow strip with wetlands, approximately 120 feet wide by 880 feet long. The photo below illustrates how this would look, showing the proximity to neighboring properties. Laurent Bentitou has one well which produces 3.2 gallons/minute. Do you think it makes sense that there are no regulations in place in San Juan County to prevent this? This is industrial marijuana in the middle of a quiet residential neighborhood.
Miles Becker of the Island’s Sounder wrote a good review of the SJ Council meeting on February 19 during which time the proposed marijuana application by Ceres / Saturn / Laurent Bentitou was discussed. You can read the Island’s Sounder article here.
Laurent 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 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
To submit your comments in writing to WSLCB:
PO Box 43098, 3000 Pacific Ave SE
Olympia, WA 98504-3098
To write to San Juan Council:
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 Laurent 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.
We received news today from Councilman Jamie Stephens that the council requested and received a 20 day extension from the WSLCB (March 4 is the new deadline date to submit their opinion.) This is great news and we are so grateful to Jamie Stephens and the rest of the council for taking this action.
We also had a very productive meeting with Councilman Rick Hughes today. He was able to understand and share many of our concerns. We will keep you posted as more news arises.
Thank you to everyone who wrote letters. It worked!!!
Members welcome Land Use and Environmental Law Attorney Kyle Loring to our legal team. Mr. Loring spent a decade protecting our islands as the in-house attorney for the Friends of the San Juans. Mr. Loring’s strong background in land and environmental advocacy for our island community makes him uniquely qualified for the job. Mr. Loring is ready to fight for our members.
Members of the San Juan County Department of Community Development has agreed to meet with our members on Friday February 1, 2019 1:30pm – 2:30pm. More on this to come.
Members met Washington State Representative Debra Lekanoff (D) on Wednesday (1/23/19) to let her know why we oppose Industrial Scale Marijuana in the San Juan Islands. Representative Lekanoff will be communicating directly with the San Juan County Council about our concerns. She applauds our efforts and wants to support our unique island environment and community.