THE city of Seattle, Washington has moved one step closer to being the first city in the United States to have zoning marijuana laws on the books for recreational marijuana.
Local lawmakers and Seattle City Council members have drafted a series of regulations to determine where marijuana can be grown, delivered, sold, or baked into edible goods.
One of the more difficult issues is how to zone for recreational vs. medical marijuana, considered to be two separate types of businesses. According to Darby DuComb of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, “I think the customers are different. The products they want and enjoy are different.”
Some of the new Seattle zoning regulations include:
For growing- Limit industrial, large-scale growing operations to an area south of the sports stadiums. Big growing operations will be confined to the outskirts of the city and located in industrial as opposed to residential areas. Large-scale production is limited to an area the size of 50,000 square feet.
For sales- Prohibit marijuana stores in tourist areas, historic districts, near schools, or in residential neighborhoods.
Final pot zoning decisions are expected from the Seattle Council shortly, but further modifications to the new zoning laws could be necessary as different local, state, and federal marijuana laws collide. Washington state officials have worked to build a strictly regulated marijuana system that could forestall federal concerns about how the public purchase of marijuana is handled.
“We’re a little bit in the Twilight Zone. We have federal laws that on the one hand make it illegal,” says Seattle City Council Member, Nick Licata.