Public hearing on interim pot rules Oct. 23
EVERETT - The Everett City Council seems to be OK with the city’s proposed interim zoning regulations for recreational marijuana retail shops, and production and processing businesses.
The council is now focusing its attention on tightening regulations on how big a marijuana processing or production business can be in town.
Everett’s interim zoning regulations currently do not address processing and production site size. The regulations limit these businesses to industrial and agricultural areas.
“We need limitations or we may end up with some unintended outcome,” Councilman Scott Murphy said.
The first reading of the interim ordinance was presented to the council at last week’s meeting.
The council is scheduled to take a final vote on the interim zoning regulations after holding a public hearing at its Wednesday, Oct. 23 meeting. The meeting that week is at 12:30 p.m. The council meets at 3000 Wetmore Ave.
The state Liquor Control Board is in charge of writing rules for the legal sale and production of recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older.
There are three tiers of sizes for producers. City attorney Colin Olivers suggested limiting the largest producers out of the city if the council was concerned with big pot growing facilities.
The board limits the largest producers to 30,000 square feet of total space. Statewide, regulated grow operations are limited to a cumulative 2 million square feet of space, control board spokesman Brian Smith said. The board is days away from finalizing state rules.
The board determined last month that Everett should be allowed no more than five retail stores. Snohomish County was allotted 35 stores.
Everett’s interim regulations would last for one year. The zoning regulations would prevent marijuana retailers from locating 2,000 feet from each other.
There are state regulations distancing marijuana shops 1,000 feet from schools, libraries and other public spaces.
The city wants a one-year interim ordinance so it can assess and adjust its rules as the state opens the door for the first time to the legal marijuana business. Other cities, such as Snohomish, are responding to the law’s complexities with moratoriums, banning them temporarily from opening up.
The state will begin accepting business license applications Nov. 18. The city wants its interim regulations in place before then. Recreational marijuana businesses may start operating in January.
The zoning regulations do not affect medical marijuana shops, but those shops are prohibited from acting as retailers to the general public.
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