KENT, Wash. - In less than a week, the Washington State Liquor Control Board will start the process of selecting applicants for marijuana retail licenses. With recreational pot stores scheduled to open this summer, some cities have moratoriums preventing these businesses from operating.
“This is all new so it is a long process," said acting Kent city attorney Pat Fitzpatrick.
In Kent, the city council is considering extending a moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses. Fitzpatrick said the city is studying the issue and has not decided if the pot stores will be allowed within city limits.
"The moratorium allows the city to put a stop in development or establishment of land uses while the city goes through the process of establishing what the city feels are appropriate zoning regulations," said Fitzpatrick.
Kent is one of 29 cities with moratoriums, according to the Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy in Seattle. Executive Director Dominic Corva and other researchers started tracking the moratoriums in January.
"The trend is definitely cautiously moving towards zoning than moratoriums and bans," said Corva.
Last year, the city of Kent considered banning the stores. Fitzpatrick said city officials now want to take their time before making a final decision.
MAP: Cities in Washington state considering moratorium on retail marijuana stores