Cannabis in the county: King council OKs rules for marijuana sales, growing

The Metropolitan King County Council last week adopted legislation that changes King County building codes and development regulations, allowing for recreational marijuana businesses.

In 2012, state voters adopted Initiative 502, which legalized the purchase, possession, and use of small amounts of marijuana by state residents 21 years and older. The initiative also established the means for regulating the production, processing, sales, and taxing of marijuana.

The legislation adopted by the council—which is in effect only in the unincorporated areas within King County—sets the regulations on the production, processing and sale of marijuana in those communities:

Outdoor and greenhouse growing would be allowed in the county’s agricultural zone and rural area, indoor growing in the community and regional business and industrial zone, and processing in business and industrial zones, and inside of the urban growth area. Square footage limits apply.

Retail sales would be allowed in the commercial business and regional business zones as a permitted use up to 2,000 square feet.

As outlined in Initiative 502, the legislation prevents any of these operations from being established within 1,000 feet of a number of facilities including schools, public parks, day care centers, arcades and libraries.

The adopted ordinance does not impact the production, processing and sale of medicinal marijuana. Those businesses will continue to be governed by current county codes.


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