Council passes recreational marijuana moratorium
September 4, 2013
By Peter Clark
NEW — 11:01 a.m. Sept. 4, 2013
The Issaquah City Council approved a six-month moratorium on recreational marijuana facilities Sept. 3.
The state has yet to decide on official rules for licensing the growing, processing and retail of recreational marijuana, as approved by Initiative 502. While the Liquor Control Board goes through the public revision process, the council, during its regular meeting, decided to wait for the state to decide on specifics.
“Moratoria are not uncommon,” Associate Planner Jason Rogers said during the meeting’s presentation, listing Sammamish and Olympia as other municipalities that have established one. “Issaquah enacted a temporary moratorium for medical marijuana in 2011.”
Specifically, he spoke of the city’s need for a set number of licenses available, a better understanding of a potential market and a robust political process that would include more public input.
No one offered public comment during the hearing, leaving the council to discuss the matter before deciding to pass the ordinance unanimously.
“I think the recommendation for the six-month moratorium was largely due to the fact the state has yet to adopt the regulations and there are still a lot of questions.” Councilwoman Stacy Goodman said. As the chairwoman of the Land & Shore Committee, she led the decision to recommend the ordinance. “We were also interested in a public process in our community, and we have yet to have that.”
Councilman Tola Marts said he was confidant in both the state and the city to create an ordinance around recreational marijuana, similar to the way the council approached medical marijuana in 2011.
“This council does not avoid difficult decisions,” Marts said. “I feel sure that we will ensure public safety while keeping personal liberty.”