Seattle City Council is proposing legislation that would limit the growing, processing, selling, or delivery of marijuana or marijuana-infused products to scales that are appropriate for the zoning designation and characteristics of the area in which they would be located. These regulations are being proposed in response to changes to state regulations that allow the production, processing, selling, and delivery of marijuana and marijuana-infused products for medical and recreational use. This legislation is meant to compliment additional state regulations which are still being created, but will provide standards for commercial operations relating to advertising, security, product tracking, and minimum distance to schools, parks, playgrounds, childcare centers, and other youth- oriented facilities.
The primary purpose of the proposal is to limit the off-site impacts of larger-scale marijuana-related activity in residential and historic character areas. The ordinance would accomplish this by limiting the level of activity in business and residences in specific areas. Proposed limits would apply in all designated Historic Districts and the following zones: Single-Family, Multifamily, Pioneer Square Mixed, International District Mixed, International District Residential, Pike Place Mixed, Harborfront, and Neighborhood Commercial 1. In these restricted areas, the production, processing, selling, or delivery of marijuana, marijuana-infused products, or useable marijuana in any business establishment or dwelling unit would be limited to:
Forty-five marijuana plants
Seventy-two ounces of useable marijuana
An amount of marijuana product that could reasonably be produced with 72 ounces of useable marijuana
These limits are intended to preclude commercial-scale facilities in these areas while still allowing “collective gardens” – a designation allowed by the state in which groups of up to 10 patients can grow medical marijuana for their own uses. The legislation would not specifically limit marijuana-related activity in other areas beyond existing regulations.
The proposed ordinance would also implement a size limit for indoor agricultural operations in industrial areas and make a minor change to clarify the intent of existing allowances for certain agricultural uses. This change would apply to any agricultural use in designated Manufacturing and Industrial Centers.
The Council’s Housing, Human Services, Health, and Culture Committee is planning to discuss potential amendments to the initial legislation at their May 8th meeting and could take a vote on the legislation as early as the May 22nd meeting. More information on the proposal is available at www.seattle.gov/dpd/planning/cannabiszoningrestrictions/.