Cheney Free Press -


Staff Reporter 

Medical Lake City Council passes marijuana zoning moratorium


At it’s Jan. 7 meeting the Medical Lake City Council held a public hearing on the acceptance and processing of land use applications for the production, processing and retailing of marijuana.

The council passed a moratorium immediately after the public hearing.

Under the moratorium the city shall not accept nor process applications for land use approvals for marijuana production, processing and retailing locations. This includes the manufacturing and sale of marijuana products or paraphernalia such as pipes, growing equipment or other items.

As stated in the ordinance, “Land Use Approvals” means any permit required from the city for development, permission or constructing of facilities described in this section.

During the time the moratorium is in effect, the city will not accept any application, or process any application for marijuana production, processing, retailing and/or incidental uses.

Under the moratorium, the city staff will conduct studies as may be necessary to determine alternatives available to ensure development of fair and reasonable local regulations relating to the provisions of Initiative 502. The staff will also review all regulations enacted by the Washington State Liquor Control Board and propose any local regulations deemed appropriate to serve the public.

The moratorium will be effective for no more than six months, unless the city develops a work plan for a longer period, in which case it may be effective for up to one year. It can also be reviewed for one or more six-month periods if a subsequent public hearing is held and findings of fact are made prior to each renewal.

According to City Administrator Doug Ross, there was one Medical Lake resident in favor of the moratorium.

Mayor John Higgins said the city would wait to see how the state plays it out. The ordinance allows the city to not process any applications before the state gives the approval.

Higgins said the city wanted to have some say in how close to certain areas - like a school - producers could establish their business. Higgins added that no one has applied for land use approvals to be a grower, producer or retailer within the city limits of Medical Lake.

Al Stover can be reached at


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