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County Council adopts regulations for marijuana operations in unincorporated King County

The Metropolitan King County Council on Monday unanimously adopted legislation modifying King County building codes and development regulations for the siting of recreational marijuana businesses licensed by Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB).

In 2012, state voters adopted Initiative 502, which legalized the purchase, possession, and use of small amounts of marijuana by state residents 21 years and older. The initiative also established the means for regulating the production, processing, sales, and taxing of marijuana.

The legislation adopted by the Council—which is in effect only in the unincorporated areas within King County—sets the regulations on the production, processing and sale of marijuana in those communities:

Production

• Outdoor and greenhouse growing would be allowed in the Agricultural (A) zone as a permitted use up to 2,000 square feet.

• Outdoor and greenhouse growing would be allowed in the Rural Area (RA) zone as a permitted use up to 2,000 square feet and as a conditional use up to 30,000 square feet.

• Indoor growing would be allowed in the Community Business (CB) and Regional Business (RB) zone as a permitted use up to 2,000 square feet and as a conditional use up to 30,000 square feet.

• Indoor growing would be allowed in the Industrial (I) zone as a permitted use up to 30,000 square feet.

Processing

• Light processing as an accessory use to production would be allowed in the A and RA zones as a permitted use up to 2,000 square feet.

• Light processing would be allowed in the CB and RB zones outside of the urban growth area as a permitted use up to 2,000 square feet and as a conditional use up to 30,000 square feet.

• Processing would be allowed in the CB and RB zones, and inside of the urban growth area as a permitted use up to 2,000 square feet and as a conditional use up to 30,000 square feet.

• Processing would be allowed in the I zone as a permitted use up to 30,000 square feet.

Retail

• Retail sales would be allowed in the CB and RB zones as a permitted use up to 2,000 square feet.

As outlined in Initiative 502, the legislation prevents any of these operations from being established within 1,000 feet of a number of facilities including schools, public parks, day care centers, arcades and libraries.

The adopted ordinance DOES NOT impact the production, processing and sale of medicinal marijuana. Those businesses will continue to be governed by current County codes.

The City of Renton presently has a moratorium on all medical and recreational marijuana business licenses.

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