Zoning laws for legal marijuana have come to Burien.
Burien is one of the first cities to proactively adopt zoning regulations for the operation and licensing of marijuana producers. The zoning regulations deal mostly with land-use where marijuana is concerned.
“I think the reaction to this might be a little overblown, we’re not going to end up with unregulated marijuana businesses in the city whether we do anything or not,” said Councilmember Gerald Robison.
”I think this is the best way to deal with the zoning so we can have this discussion in public and carefully consider what we are going to do.”
“I feel that’s its totally appropriate, the voters have spoken,” said Councilmember Jack Block.
”As Councilmember Robison pointed out the world hasn’t ended, marijuana has been legal for 8 months now.”
Councilmember Block mentioned the success of Hempfest and the fact that Seattle police handed out Doritos during the event.
“I’ve seen a map of the areas where marijuana will be legal to sell at and it’s a very, very, very small area of the city,” said Councilmember Block. “We’re not going to have marijuana shops open on every corner.”
Councilmember Block pointed out repeatedly that it was not the end of the world for Burien, just a small change.
“Quite frankly I think it beats the present system where people go and drug dealers and support organized crime.” Councilmember Block said.“I think it’s a better system and we’ll all benefit from it in the future.”
The motion that was unanimously approved established a six-month interim zoning regulations for recreational marijuana. If necessary the six-month period can be extended. It follows up to Washington State’s Initiative 502.
Initiative 502 (which was passed statewide in November 2012) already prohibits marijuana-related uses within 1,000 feet of perimeter of certain uses and buildings, such as child care centers and public parks and recreation centers or facilities. However it does not address zoning or land use options for marijuana businesses.
Burien is one of the first cities to set legal meanings for terms such as; marijuana, marijuana-infused products, marijuana producer, marijuana processor and marijuana retailer.
According to Ordinance No. 586 the following terms are described as such.
Marijuana or Cannabis: means all parts of the plant Cannabis, wheather growing or not, with a THC concentration greater than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds and resin. The term does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound that is incapable of germination.
Marijuana Processor: a person licensed by the State Liquor Control Board to process marijuana into useable marijuana and marijuana-infused products, package and label useable marijuana and marijuana-infused products for sale in retail outlets, and sell useable marijuana and marijuana-infused products at wholesale to marijuana retailers.
Marijuana Producer: a person licensed by the State Liquor Control Board to sell marijuana at wholesale to marijuana processors and other marijuana producers.
Marijuana Retailer: a person licensed by the State Liquor Control Board to sell useable marijuana and marijuana-infused products in a retail outlet.
Marijuana-infused products: products that contain marijuana or marijuana extracts and are intended for human use.
Useable Marijuana: dried marijuana flowers. The term does not include marijuana-infused products.
Retail outlet: a location licensed by the State Liquor Control Board for the retail sale of useable marijuana and marijuana-infused products.
All marijuana retailers must comply with all the requirements of the state law and the Washington State Liquor Control Board regulations.
The interim zoning ordinance will be for six months and will allow time for public comment and for the City to amend the rules if needed.
Although the zoning passed the first licensing won’t be available till December 2013.
The Burien City Council approved Ordinance No. 586 at last Monday’s (Aug. 19) City Council meeting.