Voters legalized pot.
No, it doesn’t mean that you can legally light up in a City park or get the behind the wheel after smoking marijuana.
But it does mean that adults may soon be able to grow, process and sell marijuana in Issaquah. (And, yes, smoke marijuana in the privacy of their homes.)
So, what’s next for us?
We’re deciding where people may be allowed to conduct the business of marijuana legally — and safely — for themselves and their neighbors. And we want to hear from you.
Initiative 502 already places some restrictions on where marijuana facilities could be located in Issaquah. That means at least 1,000 feet away from schools, playgrounds, recreation centers, child care center, public parks, public transit centers, libraries or game arcades that are open to minors. Issaquah is considering further restrictions, such as not allowing these facilities in residential areas.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board is building the state’s new marijuana system from seed to sale. It has until Dec. 1, 2013, to finalize those rules. In the meantime, production and distribution of non-medical marijuana remains illegal.
As a first step, the City Council is considering a six-month moratorium would allow the City to wait for the Liquor Control Board’s regulations to be finalized, and gather more information on the implications of a legal marijuana market.
Here’s the tentative timeline:
• The City Council’s Land & Shore Committee reviews the temporary moratorium Aug. 13.• The City’s full City Council reviews the temporary moratorium Sept. 3.
• Draft regulations on recreational marijuana facilities are tentatively scheduled to go to the City Council as a workshop item on Oct. 14. The timeline for a possible decision, however, is still unclear.
These new laws will be separate from Issaquah’s current medical marijuana regulations, which were approved in 2011.
Issaquah has an extensive public process for this effort. Talk to us on social media. Use #jointeffort13 to join the conversation.
For more information about local efforts, contact Associate Planner Jason Rogers. For more information on the state laws, visit the state Liquor Control Board online.