Olympia council reconsiders rules for marijuana shops

Staff writerOctober 13, 2013 

Comments from the Olympia City Council's Oct. 14 public hearing on a proposed regulations on recreational pot.

OLYPHOTO

The Olympia City Council may drop recreational marijuana shops from its one-year moratorium on new pot establishments.

A public hearing will be held on the matter during a meeting that starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Olympia City Hall, 601 Fourth Ave. E.

Council members will consider new rules on where state-licensed pot shops should be located and under what conditions they should exist, said Darren Nienaber, deputy city attorney.

According to a city staff report, the proposed rules are:

  • Cannabis-related land uses would be required to obtain a conditional use permit, which the city’s hearing examiner would review after a public hearing.
  • Retail sales would be allowed only in the high density corridor-4 and general commercial zones.
  • Production and processing of marijuana would be allowed only in the light industrial zone.
  • Cannabis products could not be consumed on site.
  • Retail hours are limited from 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Associated uses, such as a dance venue, are prohibited.
  • Cannabis-related land uses must maintain a security system, including video surveillance.

If the council adopts the regulations, “that part of the moratorium concerning recreational retail, production, and processing will be repealed,” the staff report says.

However, all other new cannabis land uses, such as medical collective gardens, would remain prohibited under the moratorium.

Olympia is considering modifying its moratorium in response to the state, which recently wrote rules to regulate recreational pot shops in response to an initiative voters approved last year to legalize it.

The city adopted the moratorium in May, “in part to the rapid proliferation of marijuana-associated land uses without sufficient time for staff to analyze appropriate conditions of approval of such land uses,” the staff report says.

Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869; mbatcheldor@theolympian.com

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