WASHINGTON: The Pasco City Council discussed a six-month moratorium on producing, processing and selling marijuana in the city at its Monday evening meeting.
City officials say they need more time to review the possible impacts. Many questions remain unanswered after the passage of Initiative 502 by Washington voters.
The law sets up a framework for marijuana producers, processors and retailers to become licensed by the state, but federal law continues to outlaw marijuana.
The city risks violating federal law on one hand, and interfering with Washington resident’s rights on the other, Councilman Saul Martinez said.
Cities can set six-month or yearlong moratoriums on marijuana-related businesses, according to city attorney Leland Kerr. The longer moratorium would require the city to show it is putting together a work plan for approving the businesses.
The first licenses for marijuana-related businesses in the state are expected to be issued late this year or early next year.
The council is expected to vote on the moratorium at its Sept. 3 meeting. A public hearing, is planned for Oct. 7.