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North Bend stalls on lifting 2-year marijuana ban, awaits new state rules

Both medical and recreational marijuana are legal in Washington now, but not in North Bend. City officials and staff here have deferred the needed updates to North Bend’s zoning, licensing and taxing regulations while awaiting the final rules from the state Liquor Control Board, which will regulate the drug.

A moratorium on the establishment of any medical marijuana dispensaries or collective gardens has been in effect since June, 2011, in North Bend.

The original year-long moratorium can be extended by only six months, and the city has renewed the ban since adopting it. The most recent extension was approved Oct. 15, prohibiting the establishment of medical marijuana facilities until mid-April, 2014.

On the recommendation of staff, the North Bend City Council also voted Nov. 5 to implement a six-month moratorium on the establishment of recreational marijuana production, processing or retail facilities in the city.

The vote for this moratorium was unanimous. However, Councilman David Cook raised a question about the need for it. He said the city had originally planned to delay the issue until its conflicting status with the federal government, which still considers recreational marijuana illegal, had been resolved, but that federal officials have indicated they do not plan to enforce the law in the states that have legalized marijuana.

City Administrator Londi Lindell said the city could not continue to ban such facilities indefinitely, but did need the time to develop its own code for both medical and recreational marijuana facilities.

 

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