To Sell or not to Sell: City Council Set to Vote on Permanently Banning of Pot Sales, Production

It’s been over three years since I-502 legalized the possession of specified amounts of marijuana and legalized its private recreational use in Washington State, but the statewide initiative that comfortably passed with a nearly 56% approval rate did not prohibit cities from banning marijuana sales within their municipalities.

And it seems many Washington cities prefer not to get on board as far as sales go – even cities in which the initiative potcomfortably passed. Snoqualmie, for instance, is considering joining the ranks of other cities banning legalized pot sales and production – even with I-502 was approved by Snoqualmie voters at 57%.

After holding a public hearing in December 2015 and asking local residents their thoughts on pot sales and manufacturing in Snoqualmie, Planning Commission Chair Steve Smith said those in attendance overwhelmingly supported prohibiting marijuana sales and production in the city.

So at the February 16th City of Snoqualmie Planning Commission meeting, members unanimously voted to recommend that the city council adopt an ordinance banning the sale, manufacturing and processing of marijuana within the City of Snoqualmie.

Planning Chair Smith said prior to the Commission’s vote, another public hearing about the ordinance was held where not one person came out to speak in support of legalized pot sales in Snoqualmie – a response similar to the previous December hearing where about three dozen residents spoke out in favor of a ban.

Currently the City of Snoqualmie has a moratorium on marijuana sales and production in place while it explored what to do [permanently] about legal pot sales. That moratorium is set to expire on March 26, 2016.

At the February 22nd city council meeting, and per the Planning Commission’s recommendation, legislation banning the production and retail sales of [legalized] marijuana in Snoqualmie was introduced for the council’s consideration and action. While no action was taken at Monday’s meeting, the ordinance is scheduled for a full council vote at the March 14th meeting.

If the new ordinance is adopted by the council, it would repeal the moratorium and permanently ban marijuana production, processing and sales in Snoqualmie.

If the moratorium runs out without a ban in place, three spots were identified as the areas that could potentially meet the law’s guidelines for where marijuana retail sales could do business (i.e. 1,000 feet away from schools, parks, etc.)  Those spots are the Snoqualmie Ridge business park, downtown Snoqualmie and the Honey Farm area on 384th.

It should also be noted the the Washington State Liquor and Canabis Board limits the number of retail marijuana stores at 556 – and there are no remaining licenses available in King County, as the county has reached its allotment.


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