Legal pot zones could soon be coming to Seattle.
City Councilman Nick Licata, who helped draft the zones proposal, said, “This is all, quite honestly, a little bit of a trial and error situation.”
Licata admitted Seattle is entering a strange new world now that pot is legal.
“This is a very fluid situation. I don’t pretend and I don’t think anyone on the council pretends to have all the answers.”
Council members are trying to make things more solid by creating new zones for marijuana businesses. But it may add another barrier to those who want to grow and sell pot in city limits.
The state law already limits where retailers and growers can open shop. They can’t be within 1,000 feet of where kids gather, like schools, day cares and parks.
The new zoning rules would also limit them from several other areas, including tourist spots like Pike Place Market.
That could create a marijuana district, with the largest being in the city’s Sodo industrial district.
City Council members ultimately amended the new rules to limit the size of grow operations in the busiest industrial areas, but they also increased how large grow areas could be in most places, up to 50,000 square feet.
The full City Council still needs to vote on the zoning rules.
Licata said there could still be more changes as the city tries to navigate a business and product that is still illegal under federal law.
“I think it illustrates the potential for a great deal of problems to try and regulate an industry that quite honestly is in a legal gray area,” he said.