Redmond City Council members voted Tuesday to enact a six-month moratorium on the location, establishment, licensing and permitting of medical marijuana gardens in response to recent changes in state law.
The moratorium, which went into effect immediately, was approved 6-0. Council member Kim Allen was absent from the meeting.
The council's action comes a few weeks following the state legislature's decision to amend Washington's existing medical marijuana law to allow jurisdictions to adopt zoning for collective gardens. A medical marijuana “collective garden” is an area or garden where qualifying patients engage in the production, processing, transporting, and delivery of marijuana for medical use as defined in the 1998 state law (RCW 69.50).
The amendment, as contained in Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill (E2SSB) 5073, went into effect July 22.
Redmond's actions are similar to those of , and , all of which have passed moratoriums on collective gardens or are planning to do so in the coming weeks.
Rob Odle, the city's planning director, said earlier Tuesday that the moratorium would enable city staff to research the impacts of collective medical marijuana gardens and discuss possible regulations or restrictions. No one has expressed interest in setting up a collective garden in the city thus far, he added.
“We think it’s better to be prospective instead of retrospective,” Odle said.
A public hearing on whether the city should continue the moratorium will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 4.