Resolution on one Sammamish pot law

June 10, 2014

By Ari Cetron

New: June 10, 3:20 p.m.

The Sammamish City Council is looking to end a moratorium on one set of marijuana regulations while extending a temporary ban on another.
At its June 3 meeting, the council heard a recommendation from city planners that Sammamish should ban outright collective marijuana gardens for medical marijuana patients. The city has had a so-called “temporary” ban on such gardens since the state first authorized them more than two years ago.
The city put the ban in place with the idea that the state and federal governments would sort out differences in their regulations. They feared city employees could be put at risk if they obeyed state laws, which conflicted with federal laws.
Susan Cezar, deputy director of the city’s Community Development Department, said there had been hope the state would fold the medical marijuana industry into the now-legal recreational marijuana industry, but that has not happened.
To date, no one has approached the city with an eye toward starting a collective garden, in which medical marijuana patients band together to grow marijuana for their own use.
Cezar also suggested the city continue its temporary ban on any recreational marijuana activities. The Planning Commission is studying recreational marijuana in Sammamish, and it’s expected the City Council will decide on the issue before the end of the year.
Initiative 502 legalized recreational marijuana statewide in 2012, and 55 percent of Sammamish voters approved the initiative. However, it placed restrictions on the location of marijuana facilities, which would make it difficult for a marijuana-related business to operate in the city.
Cezar said people hoping to start a marijuana business have approached city officials. However, no Sammamish businesses were selected in the statewide lottery for licenses for such businesses.
The council held a public hearing on both issues June 3, and no one spoke at them. The council is set to vote on both issues at its June 17 meeting.

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