Redmond Council votes to allow pot use in the city

The Redmond City Council voted unanimously to allow marijuana use in the city during its business meeting Tuesday evening.

As a result of the vote, the production, processing and retail sales of marijuana is now allowed within city limits, provided that regulations set by local zoning and land use as well as Initiative 502 — which passed in November 2012 and legalized marijuana in Washington — are followed.

Jeri Rowe-Curtis, chief communications officer, said while council has approved marijuana, applications for businesses must be approved by and come through the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB).

According to earlier reports, Redmond received three retail applicants from the WSLCB in May. Two applicants met the initial city zoning requirements, but they did not meet the state's buffer requirements. The third notice was for an applicant who did not meet the city's local zoning requirements.

These regulations include a state-regulated 1,000-foot buffer zone between a marijuana-related business and schools, public parks, child care centers and other establishments where children gather in large groups. In addition, there will be no marijuana-related home businesses and no production in residential zones.

“It ends up limiting the locations that are acceptable based on zoning and codes,” Rowe-Curtis said.

As reported earlier, there are a few areas throughout the city where production and processing businesses could go and there was one processing notification of application, but it was withdrawn, Rowe-Curtis said.

She added that currently, city council plans to come back and revisit the issue of marijuana use anywhere between 18 and 24 months — although it could be more or less depending on what happens. She said they will also look at other jurisdictions to see what others are doing.

Rowe-Curtis added that policy regarding marijuana is new for everyone and there is a learning curve so they are not sure what things will look like in the coming months.

“It may be a non-issue,” she said. “Nobody really knows.”


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