Lawsuit filed over Centralia pot store ban

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Another lawsuit is challenging the authority of cities in Washington state to ban licensed marijuana businesses.

A prospective marijuana retail businessman sued the city of Centralia on Tuesday, saying the city's moratorium is an unconstitutional ban on a legal activity.

Perry Nelson, proprietor of RIU420, filed the lawsuit in Lewis County Superior Court. The lawsuit seeks an order allowing Nelson to operate a pot shop.

Wenatchee's ban on state-licensed pot businesses is also being challenged.

Voters legalized marijuana in 2012, and marijuana stores are supposed to open in July. Nelson says he is unable to work on his storefront and secure a state license from the Liquor Control Board because the city won't give him building permits.

Many cities have adopted bans. Earlier this year, Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued a legal opinion saying they're allowed to do so.