Thursday, April 24, 2014

Redmond Council Studies Where and How Marijuana Can Be Sold

Where and how marijuana can be sold in Redmond was studied by City Council in their Tuesday meeting.  Though the people voted in favor of I-502 to allow recreational use of marijuana it's important to note this law doesn't pre-empt local authority ie. the City of Redmond's jurisdiction. 

State law permits up to 2 retail outlets in the City of Redmond but Council has the authority to deny all retail outlets (even if this goes against the will of the people).  Unlikely.  Marijuana retail outlets must be buffered at least 1000 feet away from where children gather.  The state lists all schools, playgrounds, licensed child care centers, parks (not trails), transit centers, libraries, recreational centers and game arcades as all places requiring the 1000 foot buffer. 

Council President Hank Margeson noted that churches were not on the list requiring a buffer.  Also, pre-schools and trails are not on the state list.  Council has the authority to require buffers around churches, pre-schools and trails if they so choose.

Planning and Development Director Rob Odle ran down an array of maps showing buffered areas for each use.  There was not much room left on the City map where retail outlets could go.  Two main areas zoned for Manufacturing Parks were left - one in NW Redmond and the other in SE Redmond.

According to State law, marijuana retailers are not allowed to co-mingle sales with any other non-marijuana related products.  An example was that Cheetos (ha) are not allowed for sale but marijuana paraphernalia may be sold in the outlets. 

Legislation was passed in 2011 that allowed collective gardens for medical marijuana production.  Up to 10 patients could grow up to 15 plants per patient with a maximum of 45 plants per garden.  The courts upheld that cities can ban collective gardens if they choose.

Councilmember Stilin mentioned that Redmondites will drive to Kirkland to shop at Costco so what's to say there is a need for outlet stores in Redmond (other than for potential tax revenue).  Odle responded the State Liquor Board approved up to two outlets for Redmond "owing to convenience."

Reported By Bob Yoder   

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think many people voted yes to marijuana without thinking it had to be grown, processed and sold somewhere. Some of those initial 420 supports are now regretting their vote once they learned marijuana can be grown and sold in their community and not just in the warehouse district of south Seattle.