MLT Council to review moratorium on medical marijuana

The current moratorium on medical marijuana activities within Mountlake Terrace will be reviewed by the City Council at their Thursday, Dec. 13 work/study session; the public is invited to comment on the moratorium at the council’s regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 17. The City Council will consider an ordinance to continue the moratorium for another six months following the public hearing on Monday.

The council has passed a series of moratoriums on medical marijuana activities since mid-2011, noting that state laws are evolving and many issues need to be addressed before they are ready to consider a set of longer-term local regulations on whether, where and how medical cannabis collective gardens and dispensaries could be located.

Complicating the issue was the voter-approved I-502, an initiative now in effect that allows for limited possession of marijuana, including for non-medical purposes. Under the new law, the state will set up a system for licensing businesses that distribute marijuana. New issues related to laws for both medical and recreational cannabis now need to be considered.

City officials have prepared for council consideration an ordinance to renew the medical marijuana moratorium through June 15, 2013. Officials say the moratorium would allow the city additional time to review the issues and impacts of medical and recreational cannabis and to propose options for addressing security, safety, taxation, property values, community risks and benefits, licensing, zoning, and other matters.

Both the Thursday council work/study session and the Monday regular council meeting have 7 p.m. start times and will be held in council chambers at Interim City Hall, 6100-219th St. S.W., Suite 200.

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