Marijuana use rules get redrafting after public input

August 27, 2013

By Peter Clark

Draft rules for recreational marijuana will need more public input Oct. 9.

After the Washington State Liquor Control Board filed its preliminary rules July 3 for zoning, production and selling of recreational marijuana in accordance with Initiative 502, it held several public meetings in August to gather feedback. Concerns given by the public led staff to recommend a revision of the rules to the board Aug. 13.

After five meetings, Brian Smith, spokesman for the Liquor Control Board, said the staff learned a great deal about what the public wants from official state guidelines as recreational marijuana enters the economy.

“One of the expectations is the limit to the amount of marijuana overall,” he said. “What we heard is that people want a production limit, specifically on the number of retail locations per county.”

Re-filing of the rules coincides with Issaquah’s consideration of a moratorium on recreational marijuana production, processing and sales. City Associate Planner Jason Rogers said the Liquor Control Board did well to hear what the public had to say.

“We were pleased the LCB is taking the time to get it right,” Rogers said, “We’re going to appreciate the extra time. They took a lot of feedback from us and from people who supported 502 in the first place.”

From a city perspective, he said better definitions are needed to zone appropriately.

“We’re definitely very interested in firming up the definition of how to determine buffers,” he said. “We’d like to see a little more clarity on schools.”

Additionally, he said the city would prefer defined limits on retail stores or production facilities.

“Nowhere does it say how many per county licenses they would offer,” Rogers said. “That’s something we would really like to know. We’d like to know what to expect.”

Smith said he understood the city’s apprehension and said the Liquor Control Board recognizes the responsibility municipalities have to citizens.

“We’ll come back with some specifics,” Smith said. “It’s hitting home with the cities. This is where it’s all going to play out and the cities want to test it out. They want to be careful.”

The Liquor Control Board will file revised rules Sept. 4, with another public hearing Oct. 9 at an undetermined location. It expects the new rules to go into effect Nov. 16 and will open a 30-day window for permit applications Nov. 18.

Initiative 502 requires the board to establish official rules by Dec. 1.




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2 Responses to “Marijuana use rules get redrafting after public input”

  1. Smoley on August 28th, 2013 8:59 am

    I’d rather there not be any marijuana businesses within the city limits of Issaquah.

    We have more pressing issues for our local government to deal with today than have to worry about the headaches associated with licensing and managing the sale of an illegal substance (as per federal law) in our community.

    Have there been any municipalities that have said they aren’t going to allow recreational marijuana production or sales within their jurisdiction? It would be nice to be able to raise your children in a community that isn’t sending a confusing message when it comes to illegal drugs. Apparently in Issaquah it’s “Just say no, unless we can license and tax it”.

  2. Derik on August 28th, 2013 9:53 pm

    Apparently it’s okay to have medical marijuana in the community but not recreational marijuana. Sounds like the medical marijuana stores here in Issaquah are lobbying hard for no competition. Marijuana is already in the community, just peek over the bushes from Pogacha and you will see the “patients” filing in. I, personally, think its no worse than alcohol, but the city is talking about a double standard and I would love to know why.

    Btw, what if the “dispensaries” already in town want to become an I-502 licensed retail store?

    Also, medical marijuana is an unregulated market, where oversupply goes to black market and only taxes are sales tax and B&O. Recreational marijuana is heavily taxed with portions of the tax going to our school systems (potentially millions). For the city to accept B&O taxes from medical marijuana but refuse recreational marijuana tax revenues for the community is wrong.

    On top of that under the LCB rules, all recreational grows would be heavily monitored and regulated, as opposed to the medical model where your neighbor could be growing in their shop or garage as a vendor to the 2 dispensaries in town. It’s happening people.

    So lets see:
    A heavy monitored and regulated market that has its heavy taxes spread out amongst many initiatives across the state
    An unregulated, stigmatized, medical market that provides zero tax benefit to the state or communities. Also where diversion is routine business.

    Come on Issaquah, you are smarter than this. On a side note, marijuana is not the problem in this community, we should be concerned about the black market prescription drugs and heroin that are plaguing our community.

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