Medical Marijuana Zoning discussion March 27, public hearing April 24

Home » Medical Marijuana Zoning discussion March 27, public hearing April 24

proposed zoning regulationsProposed medical marijuana zoning regulations will be presented for the first time in the Wednesday, March 27 meeting of the Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee of the City Council. The committee will also hold a public hearing at the April 24 committee meeting.

A staff report provides a good summary and description; here’s a link to a map showing where the proposal would apply.

I am co-sponsoring this legislation, along with Councilmember Clark; we met with several District Councils late last year and early this year.

The ordinance would establish limits on the production, processing, selling, or delivery of marijuana from a business or residence in a historical or special review district or Single-family, Multifamily, Pioneer Square Mixed, International District Mixed, International District Residential, Pike Place Mixed, Harborfront, and Neighborhood Commercial 1 zones.

In addition, it would modify the existing provision that limits community gardens and urban farms on industrially zoned property in the Manufacturing and Industrial Centers (MICs) from allowing “rooftop and vertical farms” to allowing “rooftop farms and indoor agricultural operations”.  Indoor agricultural operations would be limited to 10,000 square feet, excluding associated office or food processing areas.

In the zones and areas not mentioned above, the production, processing, selling, or delivery of marijuana would continue to be regulated according to existing provisions in the Land Use Code for comparable uses by zone designation.

In the restricted zones and areas, the production, processing, selling, or delivery of marijuana, marijuana-infused products, or useable marijuana in any business establishment or dwelling unit would be limited to:

  • 45 marijuana plants;
  • 72 ounces of useable marijuana; and
  • an amount of marijuana product that could reasonably be produced with 72 ounces of useable marijuana.

These limits are consistent with the State’s requirements for individual collective gardens.

Below is background to the development of this proposal.

In 1998, Washington voters passed I-692, approving medical use of marijuana by patients with qualifying conditions. In 2011 the state legislature passed a bill permitting collective gardens by medical marijuana patients, and stating that cities may use their zoning authority to regulate.

The City Council passed Ordinance 123661 in 2011, clarifying that the manufacture, production, processing, possession, transportation, delivery, dispensing, application, or administration of marijuana must comply with all applicable City laws, and that compliance with City laws does not constitute an exemption from compliance with applicable state and federal regulations.

In 2012, Washington state voters approved I-502 legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, and directing the state liquor control board to develop a process for regulating the production, processing, selling and delivery.

Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 controlled substance.