No welcome yet for pot shops in many Washington cities

first_imgSEATTLE — Sales of recreational marijuana are due to start in Washington in late spring, but there’s no welcome mat — at least not yet — for pot businesses in dozens of cities around the state.A Seattle-based marijuana think tank, The Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy, surveyed the 75 most populous cities in Washington to look at how local governments are handling the state’s -legal pot law, Initiative 502. The survey found that a few cities, including Lakewood, Wenatchee and SeaTac, have effectively banned or threatened to ban pot businesses until the drug is legalized federally, and just less than three dozen cities ranging from Redmond to Pullman have imposed moratoriums of six months to one year. Officials in about two dozen cities have passed zoning rules dictating where the shops, gardens and processing facilities can open, and 14 of the cities had taken no action.In Clark County, jurisdictions are waiting several months to issue business licenses to retail marijuana operations, according to The Columbian. To buy more time, jurisdictions including Vancouver, unincorporated Clark County, Washougal, Camas and Ridgefield have placed temporary moratoriums on the sale of recreational marijuana. Battle Ground hasn’t addressed the issue.Brian Smith, a spokesman for the state Liquor Control Board, said he expects more cities to lift their moratoriums in the next few months.“What we heard from many of the cities and -local governments was that they needed a little time to prepare for what the implementation of I-502 means at the local level,” he said. “Those that have a ban in place run the risk of litigation. We’ve heard from people who say they’ll sue if they’re denied the ability to do business.”last_img

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