Controversy over weed-related business in DC neighborhood

Controversy over weed-related business in DC neighborhood

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Neighbors said something shady is going on inside of a house in a Northeast DC neighborhood that involves marijuana and painting.

It is the talk of the neighborhood.

“You hear from one neighbor something is going on. Then you kind of keep an eye out,” Ally Bailey said.

A house on the corner of Tennessee and E Streets is operating a business called Puff, Pass & Paint.

“I was put off by it almost immediately,” Dan Wolff said.

It is a new business popping up across the country in states and cities that legalized marijuana.

Tickets are nearly $50.

Customers bring their own marijuana, and the business supplies the paint.

“She (the tenant) told me that she was going to be doing -- running these events out of her home this way and I've got two young kids,” Wolff said.

Wolff said the marijuana odors constantly seep into his house, customers are always in and out of their residential neighborhood, and all of this is going on near churches and schools in their community.

“Beyond me and beyond my family I think the neighborhoods and the city should be very concerned about so called gray zone entrepreneurs,” Wolff explained.

Initiative 71 prohibits anyone from smoking weed in public places or anywhere the public is invited.

That is the reason some neighbors said what's being done at the home business is against the law.

However, the business may have found a loophole by calling the gatherings private events.

The address is only revealed after customers buy tickers “in order to comply with local laws.”

“I think it's clearly on the wrong side of what I consider to be a pretty clearly written law,” Wolff said.

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs said the business received a home occupancy permit and a general business license for art instruction, but the city was unaware that marijuana was involved.

“What you do in your own space is great and if you want to have fun, have fun. But just make sure you're not affecting other people while you're doing it,” Bailey said.

“I just object to this whole thing and I hope the city identifies this as wrong and that they come down against both puff pass and paint and other businesses that are doing the same thing,” Wolff said.

An Advisory Neighborhood Commission committee is in the first stages recommending an appeal of the owner’s business license.

Commissioners are also considering a letter to the mayor’s office to help clarify who had regulatory authority over something like this.

WUSA9 reached out to Puff, Pass & Paint on the phone and at their DC location, but no one has returned our request for comment.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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