Mukilteo council passes rules allowing medical marijuana gardens
The council at its last meeting July 18 rejected an emergency temporary ban on the gardens.
"We are aware of the need, we are aware of the interest," Council President Richard Emery said Monday. "We are also aware of the concern over how we manage our city. I think we will be better served as a community if we have some kind of rules."
The rules are effective immediately and valid for six months. City employees are expected to prepare permanent regulations by the time the issue is before the council again.
Under the rules adopted Monday, collective gardens will be allowed in light industrial areas.
Any collective garden will have to be at least 500 feet away from an existing collective garden, community center, public park, school, house or apartment building.
Proprietors will need to comply with existing laws and submit floor and electrical plans for inspection. They will have to pay $333 to apply for the Collective Garden Safety License. Renewing the annual license carries the same fee.
A new state law allows qualified patients to unite to grow marijuana for medical use. Up to 10 patients can create a collective garden and harvest up to 45 plants and 4.5 pounds of usable cannabis. Dispensaries remain illegal in the state.
Lake Stevens, Marysville and Snohomish enacted temporary bans earlier in response to the new law. City officials, including in Mukilteo, said they needed more time to research the issue and write appropriate regulations.
Council members Tony Tinsley, Jennifer Gregerson and Kevin Stoltz voted against a temporary ban.
Councilwoman Jennifer Gregerson said Monday that the public should start seeing medical marijuana users as people suffering from brain tumors and other life-threatening conditions.
"I think it can sound scary to have people coming to the city to buy medical marijuana," she said. "But there are people in Mukilteo who use medical marijuana. Take my word for it."
Katya Yefimova 425-339-3452; email@example.com.
For the full text of Mukilteo's interim regulations for collective medical marijuana gardens, click here.
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