Council unanimously approves marijuana zoning changes

This afternoon the City Council approved its pending update to the zoning rules for commercial marijuana activities in Seattle, after incorporating four amendments.

As reported earlier today, this has been a work in progress for several weeks. Its was discussed at length in this morning’s Council Briefing, including four proposed amendments.

Several citizens — most representing the marijuana industry — spoke during the public comment period before the bill was considered. Several urged the Council not to act on the bill today, claiming that more study was needed (a common comment made by people who object to a populist piece of legislation but don’t want to look like jerks).

In a surprise, Council president Harrell voted to approve the amendment to reduce the buffer zone (amendment 1), though his reiterated his concerns that he thinks it’s moving too fast without understanding what the consequences will be to neighborhoods at risk. He observed that the State of Washington is moving quickly in its management of the marijuana industry, and the city is in some ways playing catch-up and is being forced to respond quickly when the State makes laws and regulatory decisions.

All four amendments passed unanimously, as did the final amended bill.

The new rules are not retroactive and will not affect existing commercial marijuana locations.