Snohomish County Council Says NOPE to R5 Zone Pot Farms

By Shawn DeNae

WASHINGTON: I am so disgusted, I could spit!  Snohomish County Council has voted to implement a permanent ban on legal cannabis operations on a majority of the previously available farm land in the county, the R5 Zone.

The members of the R5 Cooperative were blind-sided by the reversal from Chair Dave Somers who has feigned support of establishing standards to allow the use on some R5 properties.  Somers supposedly justifies his actions as helpful toward his bid for County Executive; apparently the NIMBY group has promised voter support.  Nice sell out, Mr. Somers.

The vocal minority represented by righteous members of No Operational Pot Enterprises has won the 7 month battle and vow to continue their war against legal weed by picketing licensed operators already established within R5.  They do not seem concerned about the 2000 or so unregulated ‘black market’ growers the County Sheriff, Pat Slack, estimates are in the same areas.

What is so frustratingly ironic, is that by squashing the opportunity for unregulated grows to move into a regulated and taxed system, the NOPE efforts are only fostering continuation of the black market!  It’s a classic case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

One major justification their leader, Dean Kepler, stated to King 5 is an overwhelming fear of loss in property values.  This has no basis and is in fact disputed with fact.  A search of zip codes heavy with R5 properties reveals that since the opening of R5 for legal grows until the temporary ban (Nov 2013 – Oct. 2014),  values have risen an average of 14.73%.  Compare this to highly desirable property in N. Seattle at 3% over the same time period and it appears the industry has helped to raise property values in these typically slow growth areas.

Zip Code / Area

Oct. ’13 – ’14
Median Sales Price
Year over Year
98223 / Arlington +5.9%
98252 / Granite Falls +32.5%
98290 / Snohomish +5.5%
98294 / Sultan +2.7%
98251 / Gold Bar +23.3%
98272 / Monroe +18.5%
6 Area Average +14.73%


The council did clarify that AG-10 land and Rural Industrial (RI) will remain open for producer/processors. This sounds good!  However, there is a pittance of RI zoned land and the vast majority of AG-10 zoned land is in flood plain which brings in a whole new set of road blocks; the main one that no commercial buildings can be built on flood plain land and the planning department code requires that processing buildings or indoor grows must meet IBC codes for commercial factory standards (F1 occupancy).  What this decision does for Snohomish County is set them up for a piece of the sin tax pie.  This ban on R5, while keeping open AG-10 and Rural Industrial, is a full ban in sheep’s clothing to hood wink the State into giving the County a slice while not allowing the industry to set up shop in any meaningful way.

The R5 Cooperative worked really hard to educate the Council with facts in the hopes to counter balance the fear based rhetoric.  We believed that communication vs litigation was the best path.  Now we see that the future personal political gain of Mr. Somers has taken president over the 100’s of hours that were invested to prevent this outcome.  I hope the county has deep pockets to fight all the lawsuits that are now sure to come.

For background on this story see previous article at Marijuana Venture Magazine. 

Read the Everett Herald article on the decision here:


Washington NORML Official Statement to Snohomish County Emergency Moratorium

To whom it may concern,

The Washington State Affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws would like to submit the attached report to be placed on the record & provided to the planning department and county council in response to Snohomish county’s recently enacted ordinance (14-086) preventing marijuana production from taking place on R-5 zoned properties.

We strongly support the repeal of this ordinance and would also like to remind Snohomish County officials that as they consider what action to take this next Wednesday that they should remember the will of the voters who brought them into office who also approved I-502 by 54.6%.

We are aware that there exists a rather vocal minority in opposition of all marijuana businesses in the county, but disallowing property owners in Snohomish from earning a living on their own property through legal production of marijuana would be akin to telling Snohomish county cattle farmers that they can no longer raise cattle on their property due to the objections of a few animal rights activists, or telling a private mill owner that they can’t earn a living on their property due to the objections of a few environmental activists.  The reality is that marijuana production & processing, cattle farming, & milling lumber are all legal activities that should be allowed despite the moral objection of a few.

We urge Snohomish County Council to repeal this ordinance, considering only the facts rather than unfounded fears, perceived impacts, and the moral objections of a few.


Best Regards,

Crystal Oliver

Executive Assistant

Washington NORML

Open Letter To Snohomish, WA Marijuana Companies

By Jamie Curtismith and Shawn DeNae, Washington Bud Co

To Snohomish County Area Marijuana Business Owners-

In August 2014, the Snohomish County Executive Council proposed draft regulations to put further restrictions on I-502 operations and limits where medical dispensaries can do business. Because of the political power and financial influence of one reefer mad developer, the Planning Department has pushed these changes through the system over the past month, and on October 1st, the Council will vote to make these changes permanent. These changes will impact EVERY 502/MMJ producer/collective and retailer/dispensary.

Marijuana Business Owners will be meeting On Sunday, September 28th from 2-4pm at the Firewheel Community Coffeehouse at 2727 Colby Ave in Everett to discuss the details of this development and to devise a strategy that represents the best interests of not only industry businesses, but for the local communities who voted to support marijuana legalization. Even if your business is regulated by separate city ordinances, Snohomish County policy directly influences how local municipalities govern. Please plan to attend so that we can make our voices heard.

The documents pertaining to Ordinance 13-085/86 and Motion 14-318 to support this meeting are located on the Snohomish County website for your review.

If this issues goes to the Executive Committee as planned, then please also attend the Council General Legislative Session on Oct 1, 2014 at 9am. Council Public Meetings and Public Hearings are generally held in the Henry M. Jackson Board Room, 8th Floor, Robert J. Drewel Building (Administration Building East), 3000 Rockefeller, Everett. Please call the Council office at 425-388-3494 to confirm.

Lastly, please forward this information to other industry business owners, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Thank You,

Jamie Curtismith

Shawn DeNae

Washington Bud Co

No Pot Shops In Snohomish, WA For At Least Six Months

WASHINGTON: The City Council voted unanimously last week to place a moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses.
A public hearing on the moratorium is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 3 during the regularly scheduled council meeting.
The six-month moratorium bans the production, processing, and retail sale of marijuana.

The city’s position on marijuana still remains open, Mayor Karen Guzak said, but the regulations concerning recreational marijuana needs to be clarified before Snohomish opens for business. [Read more…]