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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Contact:
Katie Knight Pruit, Associate Planner-Resource Stewardship Dept. at

Apr. 7 Public Hearing on Extending Marijuana Regulations
Public comment invited on six-month extension of interim regulations

The Thurston County Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, April 7 at
5:30 p.m. to accept public testimony on extending interim zoning regulations for state-licensed marijuana producers, processors and retailers for six months.

County commissioners are considering extending the current marijuana zoning regulations until November 2015. No other changes or amendments are proposed to the interim regulations that are currently set to expire in May. County staff have recommended that the county's current interim regulations be extended by six months so that staff can develop and refine a proposal for permanent marijuana zoning regulations that is consistent with any state laws that may be approved during the current legislative session.

For more detailed information about the proposal to extend the interim regulations, and to view the full text of Ordinance No. 15086, go to www.ThurstonPlanning.org and click on the link for the April 7 Board of County Commissioners hearing under the "News and Links" section.

Background:
Washington State licenses marijuana producers, processors, and retailers under RCW 69.50. The state began to take applications for licenses on November 18, 2013. Thurston County did not have regulations governing such uses in its zoning regulations, and therefore passed Ordinance No. 14978 enacting interim regulations with the intent of completing final regulations by November 12, 2014. State law allows for the interim regulations to be extended up to six months, and requires a public hearing be held for a proposed extension.

The interim regulations amended the Thurston County Code to add Chapter 20.63 for the rural county, Chapter 21.103 for the unincorporated Lacey Urban Growth Area, Chapter 22.65 for the Tumwater Urban Growth Area, and Chapter 23.91 for the unincorporated Olympia Urban Growth Area. In summary, production and processing are permitted in most zones that permit either agricultural uses or industrial uses, and retailing is permitted in most commercial zones.

WHAT: Public Hearing on Six-Month Extension of Interim Marijuana Regulations

WHEN: Tuesday, Apr. 7 at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: County Courthouse Building One, Room 280 at 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW in Olympia, 98502


The public is invited to participate in an informed discussion, and testimony will be accepted at the April 7 hearing. Written comments may be submitted in lieu of testimony at the hearing. Written comments can be emailed to Katie Knight Pruit, Associate Planner, at PruitK@co.thurston.wa.us, or mailed to:
  • Thurston County Resource Stewardship Department
    Land Use and Permitting, ATTN: Katie Knight Pruit
    2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
    Olympia, WA 98502

The deadline for written comments is 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7. County commissioners may choose to approve the six-month extension at the end of the April 7 public hearing, or they may request that staff make changes to the proposal following the public hearing.



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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3