New state rules would allow two pot stores in Edmonds
The proposed rules call for 344 marijuana stores statewide, and include a list of where these would be located in various communities across the state. In a system similar to that used for the old state liquor stores, the rules allocate retail pot stores by population and accessibility. (For more information on proposed pot store locations, see the article from our news partner, The Seattle Times, here
But don’t look to buy legal weed in Edmonds any time soon.
The State Liquor Control Board has made it clear that retail pot stores need approval from local jurisdictions, and this is proving far from a slam-dunk.
The cities of Kent and University Place, both opposed to legal pot, have already moved to pass zoning restrictions and other barriers that would effectively preclude retail marijuana sales in these jurisdictions. But with legalized pot so new, these are untested waters; rules like these could lead to battles between state-licensed stores and cities determined to keep them out, with the outcome far from certain.
Here at home, the Edmonds City Council recently approved Ordinance 3938, a six-month moratorium on acceptance of permit or business license applications for marijuana-related enterprises. This would allow time for the State Liquor Control Board to complete its rulemaking, and for the City of Edmonds to fully consider whether or how to permit legalized weed. The ordinance, approved on Aug. 20, calls for a review within 60 days.
At its Sept. 3 meeting, the Council heard City Attorney Jeff Taraday lay out four options for council consideration in this matter: Take no action and let the state rules determine how marijuana-related businesses would function in Edmonds; wait to see what happens in other jurisdictions and take action later based on what is learned; move to adopt a permanent ban on marijuana-related businesses; or allow these, but adopt zoning and other rules to regulate how and where they could operate.
Taraday is preparing a resolution for consideration at the next council meeting that would summarize these options and their implications, and provide the groundwork for subsequent council action. This would satisfy the mandated 60-day review, and allow the council to move forward in considering a framework for incorporating the provisions of Initiative 502 in the city of Edmonds.
Depending on which course of action the council chooses, Edmonds could see its first licensed pot stores as soon as the middle of next year.
– By Larry Vogel