WASHINGTON: The Ephrata City Council on Wednesday adopted an interim zoning plan for marijuana businesses.
The plan is a six-month measure that specifies where marijuana retail or production facilities can be located in the city of Ephrata until the city planning commission and city council come up with a final map.
State law prohibits marijuana businesses within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and recreation areas, and other zoning considerations may apply.
“No one’s comfortable with it, that’s for sure,” city administrator Wes Crago said of the approval. “But for a smaller town, it’s about risk management as much as anything else.”
Crago said Ephrata had been reluctant to adopt zones for marijuana sales because it’s still illegal under federal law.
But that reluctance carries less weight after the U.S. Attorney General told Washington and Colorado that the federal government would allow them to move forward in establishing and implementing state laws to regulate its production and distribution.
That made the potential for lawsuits by individuals wishing to open businesses a larger concern for the city, he said.