Planning Director Linda Kuller will update the San Juan County Council on the work being done on creating marijuana growing and processing regulations. The discussion is the fourth item in the 9:15 time block of the December 3 regular meeting in the Legislative Building in Friday Harbor.
The Power Point Presentation can be viewed on San Juan County's website. Here are some of the highlights. Several options of potential ways to regulate marijuana production and processing start on page 16 of the power point.
According to Kuller the present status of marijuana operations in the county is:
Marijuana license applications status - No applications pending in SJC on November 12, 2019 according to the WSLCB.
Four marijuana retailers are licensed and active: 2 in Friday Harbor and 2 in Eastsound.
There are three Tier 2 marijuana producers/processors licensed and active in the County:
Green Island Growers (AG Resources, San Juan Island, 6.3 acres);
NW Connoisseurs (Service Light Industrial, Orcas Island 1.5 acres);
Sweetbriar Farms (Rural Farm Forest, Orcas Island 20.2 acres).
Why Are Code Amendments Needed?
Code does not specifically regulate production or processing.
Production is interpreted to be most similar to agriculture and is treated as it in interpretation of the land use tables.
Production is allowed wherever ag is allowed, almost all designations.
Processing is a industrial use. Allowed in C/I designations and indoors in other designations such as Ag Resource.
There are no local performance standards in existing code.
Retail sales are treated as retail establishments in the land use tables.
Code Amendment Strategy
Adopt state definitions. Modify if needed for County code – in and outdoor;
Include production and processing as a specific uses in the land use tables;
Adopt general performance standards: production, processing and retailers;
Adopt specific performance standards for production and processing;
Prohibit production and processing as a home occupation or cottage industry;
Expand the distance for permit application noticing requirements; and
Adopt additional application submittal requirements.
Work Plan from Resolution 34 - 2019 - 2019 – January 2020: Research, obtain direction, and draft ordinance
February: Brief Council on preliminary draft ordinance
March: Brief Planning Commission
April: Renew moratorium
April - June: Finalize public hearing draft, SEPA, 60-day notice
June: Planning Commission public hearing
July - Aug: Council briefings and public hearing