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Poulsbo Passes Moratorium on Pot Dispensaries

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The Poulsbo City Council approved a six-month moratorium prohibiting the establishment of medicinal marijuana dispensaries within city limits Wednesday night.

The emergency ordinance was passed as medical marijuana dispensaries pop up in other cities. Legislators in Olympia are also considering at least one bill that would legalize and license medical marijuana or cannabis dispensaries. The bills under consideration would also allow cities to enact zoning, licensing and taxation regulations for these types of businesses.

Poulsbo's moratorium also prohibits the establishment of facilities that produce or process medical marijuana.

Calling the moratorium a "proactive stance," Mayor Becky Erickson said the ordinance was proposed last minute to help the city be prepared for whatever decision comes out of Olympia.

"We're preparing with the idea that, if some of these bills pass, it will be legal to open these types of businesses in the city," she said.

If dispensaries become legal, the moratorium would give the city time to determine if they would be a compatible use for the city, Erickson said. No dispensaries operate in the city now, and no businesses have expressed interest in opening in the city at this time, she said.

The city has planned a public hearing on the ordinance and is requesting people provide feedback on how the city should proceed with its zoning code. The hearing is April 13 at 7:15 p.m.

Wednesday's moratorium also directed the city's planning director to develop draft regulations for how marijuana or cannabis dispensaries, production facilities, and processing facilities might fit into the city's zoning. The regulations would then be reviewed by the Poulsbo Planning Commission and passed on to the council for possible inclusion in the city's zoning ordinances.

Public feedback from the April 13 meeting will be considered while drafting the regulations, Erickson said.

The city of Port Orchard passed a similar emergency ordinance last month for the same reasons.

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: kitsapsun.com
Author: Brynn Grimley
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Copyright: Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group
Website: Poulsbo passes moratorium on pot dispensaries
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