WASHINGTON: Lawmakers took steps Wednesday to further address whether or not local governments can choose to ban licensed marijuana businesses.
A compromise that emerged out of a House committee Wednesday would give local governments a cut of marijuana tax revenues while requiring them to go along with the state-wide initiative that legalized recreational pot use.
The passage of Initiative 502 in 2012 paved the way for the legalization and regulation of the sale of marijuana. In January, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the initiative didn’t prevent cities and counties from banning marijuana businesses within their jurisdictions. However, the Legislature could pass legislation preventing local jurisdictions from enacting bans on pot businesses.
Substitute House Bill 2144 passed out of the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee Wednesday morning. The legislation would create the Local Jurisdiction Fund, where 20 percent of retail excise tax on marijuana would be collected and distributed back to the local governments where the sale occurred. It would also prevent local jurisdictions from creating bans on marijuana businesses.