Chapter 17A.290


17A.290.010    Purpose and intent.

17A.290.020    Types of cannabis operations.

17A.290.030    Permit required.

17A.290.040    Conditions of approval.

17A.290.050    License – Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

17A.290.060    Other permits.

17A.290.070    Industrial hemp.

17A.290.080    Legal preexisting cannabis operations.

17A.290.090    Right to entry.

17A.290.100    Enforcement.

17A.290.010 Purpose and intent.

The purpose of this chapter is to create review criteria and procedures for cannabis operations within Okanogan County. It is further the intent of this chapter to be consistent with regulations of Washington State and administered by Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, as they pertain to the authorization of licensed cannabis operations. (Ord. 2022-8 § 1 (Att. A), 2022; Ord. 2019-2 (Att. A), 2019; Ord. 2016-4 § 1 (Att. A), 2016).

17A.290.020 Types of cannabis operations.

Cannabis operations are categorized into three separate types of activities which are reflective of the cannabis industry. These categories are similar to those categories defined by Washington State and administered by Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. The categories are:

A. Cannabis processing (see OCC 17A.20.590 for definition).

B. Cannabis production (see OCC 17A.20.595 for definition).

1. Indoor grow.

2. Outdoor grow.

C. Cannabis retail (see OCC 17A.20.600 for definition). (Ord. 2022-8 § 1 (Att. A), 2022; Ord. 2019-2 (Att. A), 2019; Ord. 2016-4 § 1 (Att. A), 2016).

17A.290.030 Permit required.

A permit issued under provisions of this chapter is required in order to operate a cannabis operation. See Chapter 17A.220 OCC, District Use Chart, for specific permit requirements. Application for and/or issuance of a license from the state of Washington does not vest the activity under the Okanogan County Code for any type of cannabis operation.

A. The various types of cannabis operations may be subject to differing permit requirements. All within the same zone district, one category of cannabis operation may be outright permitted while another category may require a conditional use permit or not be permitted at all.

B. One application, and its associated permit, may include more than one type of cannabis operation so long as both operations are listed as a permitted or conditional use by the district use chart (Chapter 17A.220 OCC). For example, a permit may authorize cannabis production and cannabis processing on the same property.

C. All cannabis producers and processors will register annually with the Okanogan County office of planning and development. Application for annual registration will be made to the Okanogan County office of planning and development upon a form to be furnished by the director of planning and development requiring such information as may be reasonably related to the ownership, parcel, and/or conduct of such business. The fee for such application shall be established by resolution of the Okanogan County board of county commissioners.

D. Any parcel permitted for a cannabis operation must be under the control of the state license holder. The applicant will submit a copy of all deeds, leases, agreements, or recorded instruments indicating the license holder’s interest, whether possessory or real, in the parcel on which a production and/or processing facility is located. (Ord. 2022-8 § 1 (Att. A), 2022; Ord. 2019-2 (Att. A), 2019; Ord. 2016-4 § 1 (Att. A), 2016).

17A.290.040 Conditions of approval.

A permit or conditional use permit shall include the following conditions:

A. The project shall have a lawful source of water.

1. From an irrigation district.

2. If on a water right, that the use is within the approved limits of the water right certificate.

3. If on an exempt well, that the total for any project (whether one user on one or more properties or more than one user on a single parcel) not exceed exempt well limits (maximum appropriation of 5,000 gpd, except within Water Resource Inventory Area 49 the maximum appropriation is 3,000 gpd) and must be consistent with instream flow rules for Water Resource Inventory Area 48 adopted in Chapter 173-548 WAC or other rules regulating permit exempt wells and daily withdrawal limits.

B. To ensure compliance, the conditions of approval shall include:

1. Continued operations shall be in compliance with all Okanogan County Code provisions, state laws and regulations, and permit conditions of approval.

2. The facility shall be in compliance with the following to the extent applicable to the agriculture activity:

a. Fugitive dust: WAC 173-400-040(9).

b. Visible emissions: WAC 173-400-040(2).

c. Fugitive volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions: WAC 173-400-040(4).

d. Odors: WAC 173-400-040(5).

i. For the purpose of this section, outdoor grow operations that meet the setback requirements of subsection (B)(9) of this section shall be presumed to be in compliance with this subsection (B)(2)(d).

ii. Indoor grow operations and processor facilities which are located within 1,000 feet of the entities listed in subsections (B)(4)(a) through (f) of this section, inclusive, must install and maintain adequate odor abatement/filtration systems.

e. Noise. In addition to compliance with Chapter 9.16 OCC, Noise Disturbances, the following will apply: WAC 173-58-080 and 173-60-010 to 173-60-120, including definitions: WAC 173-60-020 and 173-60-030, and maximum permissible noise levels: WAC 173-60-040.

f. Disposal of waste shall comply with WAC 314-55-097.

g. Signage. Cannabis operations sited within 1,000 feet of entities identified in subsections (B)(4)(a) through (f) of this section are limited to no more than two separate signs identifying a facility by the licensee’s business name or trade name.

Signs must be wall mounted to the building or permanent structure and are limited to 600 square inches each in size. If illuminated, they shall be indirectly illuminated.

Safety, directional, state- or county-mandated signs do not count toward the above two-sign limit.

h. All lighting, including but not limited to grow lights, security lighting and illumination of signs, shall be downcast and shielded from the view of neighboring properties.

i. Adequate off-street parking shall be provided.

3. Outdoor cannabis operations shall not be sited within 2,000 feet of public and private schools, except a cannabis operation may be sited within 2,000 feet of a public or private school, but in any event not less than 1,000 feet, if the following exceptions apply:

a. A topographical feature such as a ridgeline blocks the cannabis operation visually from the school.

b. A major topographical feature, such as a river, lies between the cannabis operation and the school.

4. Cannabis processing facility (OCC 17A.020.590) or indoor grow cannabis production facility (OCC 17A.020.595) must be sited a minimum of 100 feet from the perimeter of the grounds of any of the following entities. The distance shall be measured as the shortest straight line distance from the property line of the proposed building/business location to the property line of the entities listed below:

a. Recreation center or facility;

b. Child care center;

c. Public park facilities other than those facilities used for youth recreation, such as a baseball diamond or basketball court;

d. Public transit center;

e. Library; or

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

Indoor grows sited within 1,000 miles of entities listed in subsections (B)(4)(a) through (f) of this section are required to have sight-obscuring windows.

5. No cannabis production facility may be sited on a parcel less than five acres in size.

6. Required fencing (and all structures for cannabis production and processing) will adhere to the following property line setbacks:

a. Front, minimum is 100 feet;

b. Side, minimum is 100 feet;

c. Rear, minimum is 100 feet.

7. Outdoor cannabis production operations must be fenced with an eight-foot or higher sight-obscuring fence consistent with WAC 314-55-075. The fence must be fit for its intended use, kept in good repair, and made of materials that are neutral tones and alike in shape and color. The use of oriented strand board (OSB), repurposed materials (e.g., tires, fruit crates, rubbish, etc.), and nonpermeable plastic material is not allowed. Permitted types of fencing include:

a. Slatted chain link fencing; or

b. Wood fencing with approved black fabric covering; or

c. Wood with sheet metal (tin sheets) of the same neutral-tone color and nonreflective.

8. Addressing. The following addressing requirements must be met:

a. Proof of legal access.

b. A physical address must be applied for and obtained from Okanogan County planning prior to the issuance of a permit or state license for cannabis operation.

c. The physical address issued by Okanogan County planning must match the address that is on the state-issued cannabis operation license.

9. New Location or Expansion of Location. All expansions or relocation of cannabis operations must apply for all permits required and receive the proper approvals from both the local authority and Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board prior to the expansion or relocation.

10. Upon notice of violation the county may direct compliance and upon failure to comply the permit may be suspended until necessary corrections are made or terminated upon failure to comply or repeated violations.

11. Appeals of any violation notice shall be to the hearing examiner. (Ord. 2022-8 § 1 (Att. A), 2022; Ord. 2019-2 (Att. A), 2019; Ord. 2016-4 § 1 (Att. A), 2016).

17A.290.050 License – Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

The owner of the cannabis operation shall provide a valid license issued by Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. At no time shall the cannabis operation operate without a valid license. (Ord. 2022-8 § 1 (Att. A), 2022; Ord. 2019-2 (Att. A), 2019; Ord. 2016-4 § 1 (Att. A), 2016).

17A.290.060 Other permits.

All other required permits must be obtained and maintained in good standing throughout the duration of the project. Associated permits may include but are not limited to building permits, shoreline permits, floodplain development permits, zoning or critical areas permits, access permits, etc. (Ord. 2022-8 § 1 (Att. A), 2022; Ord. 2019-2 (Att. A), 2019; Ord. 2016-4 § 1 (Att. A), 2016).

17A.290.070 Industrial hemp.

Industrial hemp must be located at least 10 miles from the nearest preexisting 502 production operation. Likewise, a 502 production operation may not locate within 10 miles of an existing industrial hemp farm. (Ord. 2022-8 § 1 (Att. A), 2022; Ord. 2019-2 (Att. A), 2019).

17A.290.080 Legal preexisting cannabis operations.

Legally established cannabis operations in existence prior to the adoption date of this code are considered legal preexisting in accordance with Chapter 17A.330 OCC. (Ord. 2022-8 § 1 (Att. A), 2022; Ord. 2019-2 (Att. A), 2019; Ord. 2016-4 § 1 (Att. A), 2016).

17A.290.090 Right to entry.

All cannabis producers and processors will allow inspection of the site and facilities by Okanogan County personnel, including law enforcement, for compliance with all applicable state and local permits and licenses at any time during regular business hours without prior notice. (Ord. 2022-8 § 1 (Att. A), 2022).

17A.290.100 Enforcement.

In the event that the administrator determines that a cannabis operation is not in compliance with the provisions of this chapter, the owner of such business shall be subject to the enforcement provisions of Chapter 17A.360 OCC. (Ord. 2022-8 § 1 (Att. A), 2022; Ord. 2019-2 (Att. A), 2019. Formerly 17A.290.090).