The Edmonds City Council Tuesday night will ask the public to weigh in on whether the city should adopt a zoning moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, at least until the Washington State Legislature addresses what some say are inadequate rules governing the possession and sale of the drug under the state’s medical marijuana law.
While Initiative 692, passed by citizens statewide in 1998, makes medical use of marijuana legal, it did not provide a legal way for patients to acquire the drug. As a result, patients either have to grow it themselves or have another person grow it for them for free. A third option is to purchase medical marijuana through dispensaries — essentially storefronts that provide marijuana to those who have a doctor’s note authorizing them to possess it. Such dispensaries are not allowed under state Department of Health rules, but law enforcement in some jurisdictions are tolerating their existence. However, because of the potential for considerable amounts of cash and marijuana to be available on site, such dispensaries “are potential targets for burglary and robbery,” the council agenda noted.
According to the Mayor and Staff Recommendation included in Tuesday’s council agenda, at least one bill regarding dispensaries will be considered during the current session of the Washington State Legislature. “The purpose of a zoning moratorium is to allow the city to carefully consider the issue and to tailor a response that is compliant with the city’s comprehensive plan, public opinion and the developing state of the law and public policy,” the staff recommendation said.
In addition to a public hearing on that issue, other items on the council agenda include:
– Consideration of an ordinance that would establish an appeal procedure for denial of a business license.
– A resolution opposing creation of a Regional Washington State Ferry District that would result in partially shifting the State’s responsibility for operating and maintaining the ferry system to local communities.
-Authorization to finalize agreements necessary to built a community solar project on the rooftop of the Frances Anderson Center.
The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Public Safety Complex, 250 5th Ave. N.
The complete agenda can be found here.