City hesitates on allowing pot retail stores
SNOHOMISH - The city isn’t in a hurry to allow recreational marijuana businesses to open up in town.
At last week’s City Council meeting, the council placed a six-month moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses.
The state Liquor Control Board will start accepting business license applications in November for recreational marijuana retail stores, production and processing businesses.
The moratorium is only on the establishment of marijuana-related businesses, senior planner Owen Dennison said.
“It is not a ban on the personal use as permitted by I-502,” Dennison said. “To some extent, it is a communication tool, as the city’s business license regulations currently prohibit the issuance of a business license for any use that violates a law, such as the federal Controlled Substances Act.”
Some council members are wary of allowing marijuana businesses because it’s still illegal under federal law. The U.S. Justice Department recently told Washington and Colorado that it wouldn’t interfere with each state’s effort to implement voter-approved rules for legal marijuana use.
Some council members said they wanted to wait until other cities establish regulations and experience the first court challenges to those local regulations. This will allow the city of Snohomish to watch and see what legal precedent will be set, Dennison said.
The liquor board is scheduled to adopt rules next month. Many council members wanted to wait for the state rules to be adopted.
Councilman Tom Hamilton agreed it would be best to wait until the liquor board issued its rules in order to “have full information available to make a decision.”
“I’m sure there will be more discussion as this moves forward,” Hamilton said.
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