EVERETT — The Everett City Council unanimously approved tighter restrictions on retail marijuana stores at its Wednesday meeting.
The amended regulations also were extended another six months, so the stronger rules will be in effect until late July, depending on when Mayor Ray Stephanson signs the bill.
To continue restricting marijuana businesses past that date, the City Council will have to pass a permanent ordinance or a new temporary one.
Among other restrictions, the interim city ordinance now prohibits new pot shops in commercial zones next to residential buildings and limits public access to marijuana businesses to streets only — not alleys.
The move followed months of outcry from neighbors of Purple Haze, a shop that opened in December in a commercial zone that also has a few residences.
The new regulations will apply only to new businesses because Purple Haze applied for its permits before the amendments took effect.
Purple Haze, at 4218 Rucker Ave., is the third marijuana retail store to open in Everett since pot was legalized in Washington. Under state guidelines, Everett can host up to five marijuana retail establishments.
The city has been operating under interim ordinances while the staff studies how newly legal marijuana businesses operate in the state. The Everett Planning Commission is also expected to deliver recommendations on a permanent ordinance sometime this year.