- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) - A second Washington state judge says cities and counties can ban licensed marijuana businesses within their jurisdictions.

The ruling Friday from Chelan County Superior Court Judge T.W. Small came in the case of SMP Retail, which sued the city of Wenatchee over its ban on pot businesses. A Pierce County judge similarly upheld a ban in Fife in August; that case has been appealed to the state Supreme Court.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a news release that the decision comports with a legal opinion his office issued early this year.

Dozens of cities and counties around the state have temporarily or permanently banned marijuana businesses. Critics say that threatens the ability of Washington’s regulated system to overtake the black market.

But Ferguson says nothing in Washington’s legal pot law explicitly overruled local zoning authority.

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