No room for marijuana store on Island

The Washington State Liquor Control Board has adopted regulations and controls for how a private recreational marijuana market will be implemented in the state under voter-approved Initiative 502.

Yet, given Mercer Island existing land use patterns and underlying zoning, there is not a place for marijuana to be sold here, City Manager Rich Conrad said.

“Because we have schools, parks, playgrounds, day care centers, community centers and other places that children use — and they are spread far and wide across Mercer Island — there is simply no legal place here to set up a marijuana store,” he said.

“And, although there are residential properties that exceed the state’s 1,000-foot minimum distance to a possible marijuana store, none of those properties can have a retail business under the city’s zoning laws,” he added. “Hence, marijuana stores will have to be sited somewhere off the Island.”

Meanwhile, state officials continue to fine tune laws for the sale of marijuana elsewhere.

The rules set out to achieve the board’s stated goal of implementing a tightly regulated and controlled recreational marijuana market. They also align with the Department of Justice’s stated areas of concern by addressing out-of-state diversion of product, traceability of product from start to sale, youth access and other public and consumer safety concerns.

A 30-day application period for licenses to grow, process and sell marijuana will start Nov. 18. King County has been approved for 61 retail outlets out of the 334 to be allowed statewide, and Bellevue qualifies for four stores.

For more, go to the WSLCB website.


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