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Lewis County Planning Commission Discussion on Creating Potential Development Regulations Relating to Recreational Marijuana Production, Processing, and Retailing for Lewis County. Tonight’s Agenda Informational Overview Summary of I-502 Summary of Chapter 314-55 WAC Legal issues

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Lewis County Planning Commission

Discussion on Creating Potential Development Regulations Relating to Recreational Marijuana Production, Processing, and Retailing for Lewis County


Tonight’s Agenda

  • Informational Overview
      • Summary of I-502
      • Summary of Chapter 314-55 WAC
      • Legal issues
      • Why Lewis Co. should address this issue
    • Exploring PC interests relating to preparing development regulations relating to marijuana production, processing, retailing
    • Next meeting’s focus

I-502 Main Points

  • Passed November 2012
    • Statewide 55.7% Yes
    • Lewis County 55.4% No
  • Legalized individual possession & use for people 21 & over/Stds for impaired driving
  • Sets up a system for licensing marijuana producers, processors, & retailers
  • Liquor Control Board develops rules for implementing the new law

Chapter 314-55 WAC Main Land Use Points

  • Creates licenses for producers, processors, & retailers of marijuana
    • Producer, producer/processor, retail only
    • No license granted for operation in a residence
  • Limits production statewide to 2 million SF
    • Three size categories/tiers
    • Allows indoor and outdoor grows
  • No limit on number of processors

Chapter 314-55 WAC Main Land Use Points

  • All licensed locations have 1,000 LF restrictions
    • Schools, playgrounds, recreation centers, child care centers, public park, transit centers, library, & arcades for all ages
  • Limit on number of retailers
    • 4 at large in county
    • 2 in Centralia
    • 1 in Chehalis

Chapter 314-55 WAC Main Land Use Points

  • Processing facilities must have approved preparation areas by Dept. of Agriculture
  • Security provisions for licensed facilities
    • Alarm & surveillance requirements
    • Strict transportation rules for product
    • Hours limited 8 AM to 12 AM
    • Outdoor grows must have physical, site obscuring barriers

Chapter 314-55 WAC Main Land Use Points

  • No consumption on any licensed premises
  • Requirements for waste disposal
  • Requirements for safe production & extraction processes
    • Pesticides
    • Fertilizers

Legal issues

  • Production, use, and possession still illegal under federal law
  • Actions influencing current climate:
    • Dept. of Justice memo
    • WA Attorney General Opinion
    • Lewis County ordinances
    • Potential WA legislative action
    • Potential court ruling
    • Changing national attitudes

Legal issues

  • Dept. of Justice memo states the US Attorney General’s intent not to prosecute some violations of federal law relating to marijuana production, processing, and retailing as matter of prosecutorial discretion
  • The Dept. of Justice reserves the right to change this position at any time

Legal issues

  • 2014 WA Attorney General Opinion
    • I-502 does not preempt counties, cities, & towns from regulating or banning marijuana producers, processing, & retailers
    • Local ordinances that do not expressly ban but make such operation impractical are valid if proper exercise local jurisdiction’s police power

Legal issues

  • Lewis County Response
    • Ordinance 1247 sets up a licensing process that requires proof of approval from the US Attorney General or DEA
    • Ordinance 1254 places moratorium on issuing of licenses and associated land uses
  • Lewis County is in its second six-month moratorium

Legal issues

  • 2014 Proposed Legislative Action
    • HB 2322 would have prevented local governments from prohibiting marijuana producers, processors, &retailers
    • HB 2638 would have preempted local governments from passing regulations pertaining to the Controlled Substances Act and interfering with establishment of marijuana producers, processors, &retailers

Legal issues

  • Current court challenges against cities
    • Challenge requirements that marijuana licensees receive federal approval
  • The outcome of such challenges is unpredictable at this time

Legal issues

  • Changing national attitudes
    • Pew Research in April shows 54% of Americans favor legalization of marijuana
  • Introduction of HR 499 in the 113th Congress
    • Removes marijuana from Controlled Substance Act
    • Leaves regulation of marijuana up to states
    • Protects rights of states to prohibit

Why Lewis County needs to address this issue

  • Changes in law could happen fast & end up further liberalizing marijuana regulations in a way that doesn’t reflect Lewis County’s community values
  • It takes time locally to develop & pass laws appropriate for Lewis County – would we be able to react fast enough?
  • If we don’t plan for ourselves, someone else will plan for us

Planning Commission Discussion Focus Question

What are your desires and concerns relating to the production, processing, and retailing of recreational marijuana in Lewis County?