Years after voters rejected marijuana businesses in Federal Way, the city council may ask again: Should marijuana shops be allowed?

The city council unanimously voted to restart the process of potentially bringing marijuana retailers to Federal Way during its regular meeting earlier this month. A decision over whether to place an advisory vote on the November ballot will be made July 2. 

If the council decides to move forward, it will have just weeks to file a resolution with King County Elections and establish pro/con committees that will provide input and submit statements to Elections. 

In 2015, voters in Federal Way told the city they didn't want marijuana retailers within city limits. A mere 5,737 voted "yes," while 9,117 voted "no," to the question: Should the Federal Way City Council enact an ordinance allowing marijuana-related businesses within the City of Federal Way? 

Washingtonians voted to legalize adult use of marijuana in 2012. However, there was a slow rollout of business licenses. The first gram was sold in July of 2014.

Since then, other cities in the area have benefited from the legalization. Auburn, for example, received $182,375 in 2018 in excise and sales tax from three stores. Total sales were approximately $19.1 million in the city. 

When compared to the entire state tax revenue picture, marijuana makes up just a sliver of the more than $29 billion coming in.