WASHINGTON: The state Attorney General’s Office recently stated that local governments are not required to implement Washington’s new marijuana law in their jurisdictions.
But experts at the Municipal Research and Services Center say that attorney general opinions are not binding in state courts.
The Bainbridge Island Planning Commission began work on developing permanent regulations for recreational marijuana businesses this past January. With the attorney general’s recent statement, however, planning staff are now asking the city council to weigh in.
The state Attorney General’s Office issued a formal opinion Jan. 16 stating that I-502, the voter-approved initiative that legalized recreational marijuana use, does not prevent individual municipalities from banning marijuana businesses.
According to the Municipal Research and Services Center, that opinion will not be binding on state courts. Additionally, a bill has been recently proposed in the Legislature that would prohibit local governments from banning recreational marijuana or regulating marijuana business in a way that essentially makes them impractical or impossible to establish.
If passed, the bill would negate the attorney general’s opinion altogether.