Seattle City Council passes marijuana zoning

SEATTLE — Nearly a year after Washington’s voters legalized marijuana for recreational use, Seattle’s City Council has voted to set limits on where pot-related businesses can locate.

The council on Monday approved a zoning measure for marijuana grow operations, processing facilities and retail stores. It limits indoor grows to 20,000 square feet and allows them only in certain industrial areas.

Washington’s legal marijuana law already includes zoning requirements keeping the businesses away from schools, parks and playgrounds. Seattle’s measure additionally keeps them out of historic and landmark districts and residential areas.

Seattle’s ordinance also addresses medical marijuana operations in the city, making clear they will have to obtain state licenses if they want to continue operating past Jan. 1, 2015.

The state currently has no regulated medical marijuana system, but officials are considering ways to regulate medical marijuana so that it doesn’t undercut recreational pot sales or prompt federal crackdowns. Recreational pot stores are expected to open by next summer.

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