On Tuesday, December 17 the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) adopted interim regulations regarding recreational marijuana. As you may know, Initiative 502 was approved by Washington Voters in 2012, and the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) has spent most of 2013 crafting the regulatory framework under which this new system will operate at the state level. Because of regulatory uncertainties during this timeframe, many local jurisdictions have enacted interim regulations or moratoriums aimed at “freeze-framing” the current land use regulations to allow for the development of permanent regulations.
This was Cowlitz County’s step in that direction. At this point in time, we cannot accept or review any applications having to do with recreational marijuana until such time that the permanent regulations have been created and adopted. The current interim regulations are slated for a 60-day time period, during which the BOCC may hold a hearing to extend the interim regulations for an additional 6 months. We will be creating a work plan that will include the creation of a working group, a timeline, and the public participation plan as we move forward.