Bellevue City Council takes steps on marijuana use

WASHINGTON: The Bellevue City Council on Monday took a step toward establishing interim zoning regulations related to the legalization of recreational marijuana use, as well as permanent regulations for medical cannabis collective gardens.

A public hearing is scheduled for July 24 before the Planning Commission, and city staff will present options and make recommendations on potential zoning designations.

Medical cannabis collective gardens and recreational marijuana uses are separate but related issues, and there has been some confusion about the relationship between the two since state voters passed Initiative 502 last November.

I-502 legalized the use of marijuana by people 21 and older, and allowed possession of up to one ounce. Retail sales are expected to commence in April 2014. In Bellevue, more than 59 percent of voters approved the initiative. The state Liquor Control Board is in the process of writing rules for the implementation of I-502.

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