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Recreational Marijuana (I-502)
Cowlitz County Implementation of Initiative 502

Washington State Liquor Control Board statement on the Passage of Initiative 502

Information from the Washington State Liquor Control Board on Initiative 502

Interim Regulations on Recreational Marijuana Amended and Extended

At Tuesday February 11th's BOCC meeting, Cowlitz County amended and extended its interim regulations on recreational marijuana land uses. 

The amended interim regulations allow for recreational marijuana producers, processors, and retailers to locate in Industrially zoned areas and areas designated by the Comprehensive Plan as Industrial , subject to special use permit approval.  The amendments did not effect the remainder of Cowlitz County's rural areas, where recreational marijuana land uses would still be prohibited until permanent regulations are adopted.  The interim regulations were also extended up to one year.  The goal however, is to complete the drafting and adoption of the regulations well before that.  The interim regulations can be viewed here.

Marijuana Workgroup

Cowlitz County has formed a Marijuana Workgroup to help advise the Planning Department in the drafting of Cowlitz County’s Recreational Marijuana Ordinance (CCC 18.01).  This group will offer advice in developing the scope of the ordinance, bring valuable insight to the drafting process, and help develop a consistent, fair ordinance. The Marijuana Workgroup is proposed to consist of local citizens, planning commission members, industry experts and government agency representatives.

Past Workgroup Meetings

February 26, 2014 Meeting                                March 12, 2014 Meeting

March 25, 2014 Meeting                                    April 9, 2014 Meeting

April 30, 2014                                                    May 9, 2014

May 28, 2014


Planning Commission Review

At a special meeting on June 25, 2014, the Cowlitz County Planning Commission convened an open record hearing and took public testimony and reviewed the reviewed the proposed recreational marijuana ordinance.  After hearing testimony and deliberating the proposal, the Planning Commission amended the draft ordinance and recommended approval of the amended draft.  The draft ordinance will now be forwarded on to the Board of Cowlitz County Commissioners (BOCC) for final review, reception of public testimony, potential amendment and adoption.  The meeting dates for the BOCC hearing have not yet been established.

Draft for Planning Board of County Commissioners Review - Recreational Marijuana Land Uses

The single amendment made by the Planning Commission to the draft ordinance was in regard to the review type for proposed recreational marijuana production facilities.  The review type for production facilities located on "Rural" areas was changed from an administrative review process to a special use review process (Table in section 18.76.060).

State Environmental Policy Act Threshold Determination

Cowlitz County has issued a Determination of Non-Significance in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act.  The comment period for this threshold determination ends on July 16, 2014.   

Board of County Commissioners Review

The final workshop(s) and hearing(s) for the Recreational Marijuana Land Use Ordinance will occur before the BOCC.  The hearing for the review of the proposed ordinance will be held at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 29th.  The hearing will be held in the Commissioner's Hearing Room, located on the 3rd floor of the County Courthouse in Kelso.

Permanent Recreational Marijuana Land Use Regulations Adopted

At a hearing held July 29th, 2014, the Board of County Commissioners adopted the proposed Recreational Marijuana Land Use Ordinance.  The ordinance identifies local land use location requirements, development standards, and application processing procedures for the production, processing, and retail sales of recreational marijuana.   
The ordinance was developed over a six-month period in conjunction with a marijuana workgroup consisting of local citizens, business owners, and industry experts.  The permanent regulations can be found here.



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