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Council adopts short-term moratorium on marijuana regulations

There wasn't much pot talk at tonight's Redmond City Council meeting.

With a public hearing on the docket to discuss marijuana regulations, nobody was on hand to speak other than council members and Rob Odle, the city's director of planning and community development.

Following a four-minute evaluation, the four council members present -- Hank Margeson, Kim Allen, Hank Myers and John Stilin -- all voted in favor of adopting a six-month interim zoning ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana collective gardens and other cannabis-related facilities and uses.

Technically, it's a short-term moratorium, Allen said.

"We are monitoring closely what's happening in Olympia to get some guidance before we go and pass local ordinances to implement this," she added. "Our police chief is involved, our planning and public works department are involved. Everybody is watching this very carefully because we want to do it right."

With the passing of Iniative 502 in November, Odle said the state is in the process of devising regulations through the liquor control board as to who can produce, process and sell cannabis. Those three phases need to be completed by December, and Odle added that city officials will take the state's "umbrella regulations" and adapt those to Redmond.

"Hopefully they'll combine both the recreational use and medicinal use into one distribution plan," Margeson said.

Following the lead of other Eastside cities, in August 2011 the Redmond City Council placed a temporary ban on medical marijuana collective gardens to give city staff time to formulate a plan for regulation and zoning.

Council placed a six-month moratorium on the location, establishment, licensing and permitting of medical marijuana collective gardens.

The vote was in response to an amendment to a 1998 state law that went into effect on July 22, 2011 to allow qualifying patients to produce, grow, transport and deliver cannabis for medical use.

The law also allows jurisdictions to impose a moratorium to allow city policy makers to adopt zoning requirements for collective garden facilities.

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