Proposed Moratorium Could Pause New Pot Stores in Tacoma

The City of Tacoma is considering a moratorium on new marijuana businesses.

In 2012 I-502 approved recreational marijuana at the state level. Last year the Cannabis Patient Protection Act established State level regulations for the medical marijuana system, aligning it with the recreational side. The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board is now working through administrative procedures and standards for medical marijuana. New rules established for the previously unregulated industry could expand the cap on the number of retail marijuana stores granted licenses by the state to operate in Tacoma. A new class of use, the marijuana cooperative, would also be created.

Regulations on the books in Tacoma address licensed I-502 recreational stores. They are not adequate to address these changes that will be coming (eventually) from the state. The City is now considering implementing a six-month moratorium, which would provide time for the drafting of new rules to cover medical marijuana establishments. 

At next Tuesday's meeting the city council will hold a hearing on the idea. They will also hear the first reading of an ordinance imposing the moratorium, currently scheduled for a final on January 26. If enacted, the moratorium would pause permitting of any new marijuana businesses in Tacoma for six months, or until the City's regulations are updated. Those updates are currently expected to happen sometime in April or May of this year. The moratorium would not affect existing businesses.

The public hearing is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12 in City Council chambers. 

Any thoughts on the proposed moratorium? How about what kinds of regulations you'd like to see come out of the rule-making process for medical marijuana businesses?

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