Chapter 15.370
MEDICAL CANNABIS AND STATE-LICENSED MARIJUANA BUSINESSES

Sections:

15.370.005    Purpose.

15.370.010    Findings.

15.370.020    Applicability.

15.370.030    Marijuana cooperatives.

15.370.040    Marijuana operations.

15.370.060    Violations.

15.370.005 Purpose.

The purpose of these regulations is to regulate marijuana producers, processors and retailers regulated under Chapters 69.50 and 69.51A RCW by identifying appropriate land use zones and establishing development and performance standards. Marijuana producers, processors and retailers shall only be permitted when licensed by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. Marijuana cooperatives shall only be permitted when they are registered with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. [Ord. 4728 § 6, 2016; Ord. 4724 § 5, 2016.]

15.370.010 Findings.

The following findings are made in support of this chapter:

A.    Through its amendment/adoption of Chapter 69.51A RCW, the state of Washington has found that there is medical evidence to show that some patients with terminal or debilitating medical conditions benefit from the medical use of cannabis.

B.    The state of Washington has determined that qualifying patients with terminal or debilitating medical conditions, who, in the judgment of their health care professionals, may benefit from the medical use of cannabis, shall not be arrested, prosecuted or subject to other criminal sanctions or civil consequences under state law, based solely on their medical use of cannabis, notwithstanding any other provision of law.

C.    Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to supersede Washington State law prohibiting the acquisition, possession, manufacture, sale or use of cannabis for nonmedical purposes. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to supersede legislation prohibiting persons from engaging in conduct that endangers others, or to condone the diversion of cannabis for nonmedical purposes.

D.    Cannabis plants, whether grown indoors or outdoors, especially as they mature prior to harvest, may produce a distinctive odor that may be detectable far beyond property boundaries.

E.    Where cannabis plants have been grown outdoors in other states, local authorities have received a significant number of formal complaints of odor that may be detectable far beyond property boundaries.

F.    Cannabis, whether grown for medicinal purposes or diverted to the black market, may be sold for thousands of dollars per pound.

G.    The strong smell of cannabis may create an attractive nuisance, alerting persons to the location of the valuable plants, and creating a risk of burglary, robbery and armed robbery.

H.    Cannabis that is grown indoors may require excessive use of electricity which may overload standard electrical systems, creating an unreasonable risk of fire.

I.    The ability of qualified patients to cultivate cannabis in cooperatives for medical purposes does not confer upon them the right to create or maintain a public nuisance.

J.    Pursuant to RCW 69.51A.130, no civil or criminal liability may be imposed by any court on cities, towns, or counties or other municipalities and their officers and employees for actions taken in good faith under this chapter and within the scope of their assigned duties. [Ord. 4728 § 6, 2016; Ord. 4724 § 5, 2016; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.370.020 Applicability.

No part of this chapter is intended to or shall be deemed to conflict with federal law, including, but not limited to, the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 800 et seq., or state law, including, but not limited to, the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (Chapter 69.50 RCW) and the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (Chapter 69.51A RCW), nor to otherwise permit any activity that is prohibited under either act, or any other local, state or federal law, statute, rule or regulation. [Ord. 4728 § 6, 2016; Ord. 4724 § 5, 2016; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.370.030 Marijuana cooperatives.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require the filing of an application for, or the issuance of, a permit from the city of Ellensburg as a condition of engaging in an activity which is subject to the provisions of this section; provided, however, all marijuana cooperatives must comply with the following provisions:

All cooperatives shall comply with the applicable requirements of Chapter 314-55 WAC, including but not limited to the following:

A.    All members must be at least 21 years of age. The designated provider of a qualifying patient under 21 years of age may be a member of a cooperative on the qualifying patient’s behalf.

B.    All members must hold valid recognition cards.

C.    A member can only belong to one cooperative.

D.    A member may only grow plants in the cooperative and may not grow plants elsewhere.

E.    Members must participate in growing plants. A monetary contribution or donation is not considered assistance. Members must provide nonmonetary resources and assistance in order to participate.

F.    Members may grow up to the total amount of plants for which each member is authorized on their recognition cards. At the location, the qualifying patients or designated providers may possess the amount of useable marijuana that can be produced with the number of plants permitted, but no more than 72 ounces.

G.    Members may not sell, donate, or otherwise provide marijuana, marijuana concentrates, useable marijuana, or other marijuana-infused products to a person who is not a member of the cooperative.

H.    A cooperative may not be located within a one-mile radius of a marijuana retailer.

I.    A cooperative must be located in the domicile of one of the members. Only one cooperative may be located per property tax parcel.

J.    To obscure public view of the premises, outdoor marijuana production must be enclosed by a sight obscuring wall or fence at least eight feet high.

K.    Cooperatives must be registered with the WSLCB, per the criteria and guidelines outlined in WAC 314-55-410. [Ord. 4728 § 6, 2016; Ord. 4724 § 5, 2016; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.370.040 Marijuana operations.

A.    All recreational marijuana producers, processors and retail outlets are subject to all applicable definitions and requirements of Chapters 69.50 and 69.51A RCW, Chapter 314-55 WAC and other state statutes, as they now exist or may be amended, and must also operate in compliance with the following provisions:

1.    Marijuana producers, processors and retail outlets shall be subject to all applicable standards of city development regulations.

2.    Marijuana producers, processors and retail outlets shall obtain a city business license. All such businesses shall first obtain an appropriate license issued by the State Liquor and Cannabis Board before applying for a city business license.

3.    Any applicant for a marijuana producer, processor or retailer’s license under Chapter 69.50 RCW shall, no later than 60 days prior to issuance of its license by the State Liquor and Cannabis Board, provide individual notice of the license which includes contact information for the State Liquor and Cannabis Board to any elementary or secondary school, recreation center or facility, child care center, church, public park, public transit center, library, or any game arcade, admission to which is not restricted to persons aged 21 years or older, that is located within 1,000 feet of the of the perimeter of the grounds of the proposed marijuana business location.

4.    Marijuana producers and processors shall not be permitted within 1,000 feet of the perimeter grounds of the following entities:

a.    Elementary or secondary schools; and

b.    Playground;

c.    Recreation center or facility;

d.    Child care center;

e.    Public park;

f.    Public transit center;

g.    Library; or

h.    Any game arcade (where admission is not restricted to persons age 21 or older).

5.    Marijuana retail outlets shall not be permitted within either:

a.    One thousand feet of the perimeter grounds of the following entities:

i.    Elementary or secondary schools; or

ii.    Playground;

b.    Five hundred feet of the perimeter grounds of the following entities:

i.    Recreation center or facility;

ii.    Child care center;

iii.    Public park;

iv.    Public transit center;

v.    Library; or

vi.    Any game arcade (where admission is not restricted to persons age 21 or older).

B.    No recreational marijuana producer, processor or retail operation may locate within any residentially zoned district or within any residential unit in the city.

C.    For purposes of the distance restrictions in this chapter, the distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from property line to property line between the marijuana facility and the restricted entity, or from property line to property line between two separate marijuana facilities.

D.    Signage shall comply with Chapter 314-55 WAC and Chapter 3.12 ECC requirements, whichever is more restrictive, with no off-site signage permitted.

E.    There shall be no exterior display of marijuana or marijuana cultivation outside of the premises of a marijuana producer, processor or retail outlet that is visible from the public right-of-way or public place.

F.    Marijuana Retail Outlets.

1.    No drive-through marijuana retail outlets are allowed.

2.    Marijuana retail outlets shall be permitted only in the commercial zoning districts, designated as C-N, C-T, C-H, C-C, and C-CII, as set out in Table 15.310.040 ECC.

3.    Marijuana retail outlets shall not be located closer than 500 feet from another marijuana retailer. In addition:

a.    If two or more marijuana retail outlet applicants seek licensing from the state and propose to locate within 500 feet of each other, the city shall consider the entity who is licensed first by the state liquor and cannabis board to be the “first-in-time” applicant who is entitled to site the retail use. First-in-time determinations will be based on the date and time of the state-issued license or conditional license, whichever is issued first. The director shall make the first-in-time determination, whether in connection with an application for an administrative conditional use permit or as otherwise appropriate.

b.    First-in-time determinations are location-specific and do not transfer or apply to a new property or site, unless the new site is within the same tax parcel.

G.    Marijuana Producers and Processors.

1.    Recreational marijuana producers and/or processors are permitted only within the I-L and I-H zoning districts, as set out in Table 15.310.040 ECC.

2.    The production and processing of marijuana shall take place indoors, entirely within a permanent enclosed structure with a roof. The structure shall comply with all applicable code requirements.

3.    Waste products must be disposed of in a secure manner that would prevent exposure to the public or create a nuisance.

H.    Odor and Ventilation. No odor shall be emitted that is detectable at or beyond the walls of any marijuana producer, processor or retailer, in such a concentration or of such duration as to cause a public nuisance, or threaten health or safety, or to unreasonably infringe upon the use and enjoyment of neighboring uses. Adequate ventilation shall be provided for all facilities to eliminate odors of marijuana from being detected by a person with a normal sense of smell from any abutting use or property.

I.    Conflicts. In the event of a conflict between Chapters 69.50 and 69.51A RCW, Chapter 314-55 WAC, and this section, the most restrictive provision shall apply. [Ord. 4728 § 6, 2016; Ord. 4724 § 5, 2016.]

15.370.060 Violations.

A.    It is a violation of this chapter for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any parcel of land within any incorporated area of the city of Ellensburg to cause or allow such parcel of land to be used for the cultivation of marijuana or cannabis plants for medicinal purposes in excess of or contrary to the limitations and restrictions set forth herein.

B.    The cultivation of more than the number of cannabis plants set forth in this chapter on any one legal parcel housing unit within the city of Ellensburg, regardless of whether the persons growing the cannabis is/are a “qualified patient,” or members of a “collective garden medical cannabis cooperative” as defined herein, is hereby prohibited.

C.    Civil Penalties. The violation or failure to comply with any provision of this chapter shall constitute a civil violation and may be enforced under the provisions of Chapter 1.80 ECC; provided, however, that this chapter shall not be construed as preventing the enforcement of alternative criminal penalties under applicable provisions of the city code of Ellensburg, or state or federal law.

D.    Any violations of this chapter may also be enforced as set forth in Chapter 15.290 ECC, Code Enforcement, or, as applicable, the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Chapter 69.50 RCW.

E.    Violations of this chapter are deemed to be a public nuisance as set forth in Chapter 5.40 ECC and may be abated by the city of Ellensburg under the procedures set forth in Chapter 5.40 ECC or state law for the abatement of public nuisances. [Ord. 4728 § 6, 2016; Ord. 4724 § 5, 2016; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013. Formerly 15.370.040.]