New zoning restrictions in Seattle could limit where businesses could grow, process or sell recreational marijuana.
Seattle City councilmembers Nick Licata and Sally Clark are proposing an amendment to the city’s Land Use Code. Certain areas of restriction could include Capitol Hill’s Harvard-Belmont area, the downtown core and other historical districts and family zones throughout the city. Some city leaders are also trying to shield tourist areas like Pike Place Market.
The proposal comes in response to voter approved Initiative 502, which legalizes possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. The state Liquor Control Board says it will begin issuing licenses to businesses in December.
Some Seattle pot shops are already preparing. At THCO, a medicinal marijuana dispensary in North Seattle, owners are preparing to transition to recreational sales. Owner Bryan Gabriel said he will only grow and process the plants because that is where the money is.
"You can expect to see small retail shops close down because of that," Gabriel said "That's the direction a lot of people are going.”