Marysville City Council considering revised pot laws

March 20, 2018 GMT

The Marysville City Council will review a rewrite of the city’s existing marijuana laws at a public hearing Tuesday night.

Under consideration will be the Cannabis Regulatory and Land Use Ordinance, addressing medical marijuana dispensaries and cannabis cultivation within the city, according to a staff report.

City Manager Marti Brown said the updated ordinance was needed so the city could control how the marijuana industry would be regulated moving forward.

“The city’s existing regulations relating to medical marijuana are insufficient to deal with the newly-legal recreational marijuana rights, so new regulations are needed to avoid the state issuing permits by which businesses could set up in Marysville and conduct commercial cannabis activities that the community might rather not permit. That is the purpose for drafting the proposed new Cannabis Regulatory and Land Use Ordinance,” according to Brown and Jim Bermudez, director of Community Development and Services, in a staff report.

On Nov. 7, 2017, the council had a special workshop to talk about how the city should handle the state’s new law legalizing adult-use cannabis and what limits should be implemented at the local level. Staff gave a series of 14 policy considerations – ranging from general conditions and personal use to commercial activity – for the council to take into account when establishing a new ordinance.

Of those, only one policy – the retail sale of recreational cannabis in the city – was not supported by the majority of council members. The rest of the policy considerations were used by staff in drafting the new ordinance.

Council members will introduce the ordinance change for first reading at 6 p.m. during their regularly scheduled meeting – 526 C St., Marysville. If approved Tuesday night, the ordinance would need to be approved during a second reading at a subsequent meeting.

Brown said the council would likely hold the second reading during the April 3 meeting. If officially approved in April, the ordinance change would take effect 30 days later.

The Cannabis Regulatory and Land Use Ordinance highlights:

– Maintains licensing provisions for up to two medical marijuana dispensaries.

– Maintains and strengthens the current prohibition on delivery of medical marijuana from a dispensary to a consumer living in the city.

– Maintains the existing distance separation requirements for locating dispensaries.

– Prohibits the retail sale of cannabis or cannabis-related products for recreational use.

– Maintains and strengthens the existing prohibition on advertising marijuana products, services and dispensaries.

– Prohibits outdoor cultivation anywhere in the city. Allows licensed medical marijuana dispensaries to cultivate cannabis inside the same building as the dispensary. Residents growing for personal-use must grow their up to six cannabis plants in an accessory building.

– Prohibits growing cannabis in any building intended primarily for human habitation.

– Requires the permanent installation of odor control filtration and ventilation wherever cultivation is allowed.

– Allows commercial cannabis activity including cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, processing, packaging, labeling, transportation, delivery or laboratory testing in appropriate zoning districts without requiring dispensary licensing and without regard to distance separation (in most cases).

– Adopts stringent new fire and life safety standards specifically for cannabis businesses.

– Modifies the zoning industrial use tables to permit varying levels of approvals intended to encourage certain forms of commercial cannabis activity which does not involves sales.

– Declares that creating dust, glare, heat, noise, noxious gasses, odor, smoke, traffic or vibration or the use, storage or discharge of hazardous materials without approved mitigation measures to be per se nuisances.

– Establishes a Cannabis Review Committee (city manager, police chief, fire chief, community development and services director, and additional staff) to expand the review and approval process.

– Requires the applicant to adhere to performance measures that will be developed by staff.