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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, February 28, 2014
Mike Kain, Resource Stewardship Dept. Planning Manager at (360) 786-5471 or KainM@co.thurston.wa.us

Mar. 4 Hearing on Revised Marijuana Regulations
Changes made to rules controlling where marijuana can be grown, processed, sold

The Thurston County Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 4 to take public testimony on amendments to the county's interim zoning regulations for state-licensed marijuana producers, processors, and retailers. The interim zoning regulations control where the legal marijuana can be grown, processed, and sold in unincorporated Thurston County.

Several amendments were made to the county's interim zoning regulations for marijuana after receiving comments from the public at a January 7 hearing. Those amendments include:
  • Marijuana producers may now locate in the Rural Commercial Center zone.
  • Marijuana retailers may now locate in the Rural Resource Industrial zone.
  • Marijuana operations may now be within 25 feet of a property line if located within an existing building.
  • The county may now add to the state list of facilities that require a 1000 foot setback from marijuana operations.
  • Fees, application procedures and location on residential parcels are clarified.
In summary, production and processing are now permitted in most rural zones, and retailing is now permitted in most commercial and industrial zones.

For more detailed information about the amendments and to view the full text of Ordinance No. 14978, go to www.thurstonplanning.org and click on the link in the "News and Links" section. More information about the state's implementation of Initiative 502 is available at http://liq.wa.gov/marijuana/I-502.

Washington State licenses marijuana producers, processors, and retailers under Chapter 69.50 RCW. The state began to take applications for licenses on November 18. Because Thurston County did not have regulations governing such uses in its zoning regulations, the county passed Ordinance No. 14944 enacting interim regulations on November 12, with the intent of completing final regulations within one year. State law requires a public hearing to be held within 60 days of passing an interim regulation, and a public hearing was held on January 7 where the board received many comments suggesting changes to the ordinance. The Board of County Commissioners responded by adopting several amendments to the interim zoning regulations on January 21.

The interim regulations will expire on November 12, 2014 unless repealed or renewed.

WHAT: Public hearing on amended interim regulations for state-licensed marijuana producers, processors and retailers

Tuesday, March 4 at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: County Courthouse Building One, Room 280 at 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW in Olympia

The public is invited to participate in informed discussion, and testimony will be accepted at Tuesday's hearing. Additional changes may be made to the regulations following the March 4 public hearing. For those unable to attend the hearing to testify, written comments will be accepted up to the close of the public hearing on Tuesday. Written comments can be emailed to Resource Stewardship Department Planning Manager Mike Kain at KainM@co.thurston.wa.us, or mailed to Thurston County Resource Stewardship Department, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98502.



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3