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Paving the way for new business

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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The Shelton City Commission earlier this week unofficially rolled out the red carpet for a marijuana growing business that could house at least 27 full-time, median salary jobs for starters.

In a surprising move, the commission on Monday unanimously approved an ordinance that would pave the way for Black Diamond Biotech to put an estimated $4.8 million into three empty buildings next to the site of the former Simpson Lumber Co. mill and future Sierra Pacific Industries mill.

While recent concerns over the facility's possible odor drew some concern from residents, we're elated the commission passed the ordinance. The measure reduces a buffer requirement that required city marijuana businesses to stay 1,000 feet away from designated locations such as recreational centers and public parks and libraries.

The new ordinance cuts that requirement down to 500 feet, giving businesses such as Black Diamond, a new place to put down roots in Shelton.

We commend the business's willingness to explain its odor-containment process — we think doing so helped put our commissioners and community members at ease. But we also are pleased that our commissioners, thanks in part to city employees, stepped up and approved an ordinance that will directly lead to Shelton adding family-wage jobs.

We don't have to belabor this point — the city faces an uncertain economic future. With the closure of Olympic Panel Products just around the corner and Simpson's Shelton mills closing down last year, Shelton needs new businesses to take their place.

We hope that this move by the city commission, paired with Sierra Pacific Industries' plan to build a new mill by 2017, will serve as the proverbial checkered flag for other businesses to come in and help solidify the future of Shelton's economy.

Copyright 2016 Shelton-Mason County Journal, Shelton, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 28, 2016

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