Port of Walla Walla Says No to Marijuana Operations

By Vicki Hillhouse, December 19, 2013, Walla Walla Union Bulletin

The Port of Walla Walla may have industrial zoned property, but it won’t likely be used for marijuana processing or other such operations.

Although the economic development agency has some of the most sought-after real estate for marijuana related businesses, the Port adopted a resolution early this year aimed at precluding such businesses from locating there.

“We’ve had a lot of interest” from potential operators, said Port Executive Director Jim Kuntz.

Last January the three Port commissioners approved a resolution saying tenants at Port and Walla Walla Regional Airport properties must comply with federal, state and local laws. Since federal and state law conflict on marijuana operations, those businesses would not be accepted, Kuntz said.

The Port owns vacant industrial property from Walla Walla to Burbank. But the agency accepts at least $1 million in federal funding each year — typically on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration for the airport.

Kuntz said the resolution extends all the way to the western portion of Walla Walla County — far from the airport.

“The Port commissioners needed to make a statement,” he said. “It’s difficult because we’ve received lots of phone calls.”

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