By Jamie Curtismith
Today, several Snohomish County based 502 Producer-Processor-Retailers, Collective Garden Owners and MMJ Dispensaries gathered to discuss the implications of the recent decision by Snohomish County Council members who are trying to address community concerns about issues such as over concentration of collective gardens in certain neighborhoods, allowing collective gardens near things like child care centers where I-502 businesses are not allowed, compatibility of marijuana uses with established rural residential neighborhoods, and compatibility of marijuana businesses with airports.
Snohomish County Council is considering:
1) Re-zoning the permitted R-5 zone from permitted to conditional use, and thus delaying and further complicating 502 development in the previously approved area. This could possibly also extend to and negatively impact existing MMJ Gardens.
2) Restrict medical marijuana businesses from the same ‘sensitive use areas’ as currently required of 502, while imposing additional restrictions around airports. Additionally, Council is considering implementing a mile separation clause between marijuana businesses and requiring businesses violating the new space requirements to relocate. Several 502 licensees and existing MMJ businesses are being negatively affected.
3) Additionally, Council is considering passing an emergency moratorium on all new dispensaries county-wide. It is not clear if this also applies to new 502 permit applications.
The Council will be meeting tomorrow morning at 10:30am in the Henry M. Jackson Board Room, 8th Floor, Robert J. Drewel Building (Administration Building East), 3000 Rockefeller, Everett. A group of business owners will be meeting at 10am in the Plaza Café to discuss a collective strategy for utilizing the 3-minute Public Comment period. Additionally, another Council meeting on Wednesday at 9:30 am will occur in the same location.
Please join us if you can. It is imperative that we stop this Council from reversing their stance on any of the forward progress the legalization movements have made.