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Published on Friday, May 17, 2013

AWC releases results of survey on implementation of I–502

Recently AWC conducted a survey measuring cities' experiences as they prepare for a significant policy change with the legalization of marijuana. A copy of the survey report can be found here.

The survey was sent to representatives from all 281 cities. The responding parties represent 56% of the incorporated population of the state.

The survey focused on the areas of perception, planning, zoning, licensing and law enforcement.

When asked about their top three concerns, cities responded with the following:

  • Revenue/State shared revenue
  • Enforcement concerns
  • Youth access and prevention
  • Impact to public safety and citizens responses
  • Funding for local law enforcement and courts
  • Property values, zoning and land use

80% of respondents feel there will be an increased demand on law enforcement, increased crime, exposure to underage individuals and a greater complaint rate by citizens. Sixty three percent report they do not currently have adequate public safety resources to address issues that may arise with legalization.

When asked on how much input local jurisdictions should have in the licensing process, 85% responded that it would either be similar to what we have for liquor outlets or expanded for more regulatory authority for licensing and location of marijuana related businesses.

81% of respondents report they currently do not have any medical marijuana collective gardens or access points in their cities. Seventy one percent have no zoning language for medical marijuana.

It is a 50/50 split on whether respondents have had conversations with community members on the impacts of marijuana-related businesses being located locally.

As for the 1000 ft. rule for location purposes of marijuana-related businesses, 65% of respondents feel it is too restrictive and would further complicate zoning and location of these businesses. More than 80% feel that local law enforcement should have the ability to review and approve on-site security measures at the location of marijuana operations.

So far, over half of the respondents enacted moratoria on marijuana operations or required that licensing comply with both state and federal laws.

Eighty percent of respondents shared their comments with the Liquor Control Board (LCB). AWC encourages those who have not yet shared their feedback to contact the LCB at rules@liq.wa.gov or by mail to Rules Coordinator, Liquor Control Board P.O. Box 43080 Olympia, WA 98504-3080.

AWC will maintain updated information on our website and host webinars as we get more specific regulations from LCB and any other issues that arise.

A report on the survey can be found on the AWC website or by contacting Candice Bock or Brittany Sill.