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Federal Way bans collective marijuana gardens

On July 22, under Washington state law, collective cannabis gardens containing up to 45 plants will become legal. Federal Way enacted a six-month moratorium on such gardens in the city. - Courtesy image
On July 22, under Washington state law, collective cannabis gardens containing up to 45 plants will become legal. Federal Way enacted a six-month moratorium on such gardens in the city.
— image credit: Courtesy image

The Federal Way City Council unanimously passed a six-month emergency moratorium on “collective” marijuana gardens during its regular meeting Tuesday, making it the second marijuana-related moratorium the city has passed since April.

This moratorium is being enacted because on July 22, under Washington state law, collective cannabis gardens containing up to 45 plants will become legal. City attorney Pat Richardson explained the need for the moratorium during Tuesday’s meeting.

“The proposed moratorium is needed because collective gardens are not businesses and would not fall under the April moratorium,” she said, referencing the April 19 moratorium that was enacted to stave off marijuana dispensaries that had begun operating in the city. “The effect of the moratorium ... would maintain the status as we have it now, and it would provide us with an opportunity to thoughtfully address the issue.”

Councilman Roger Freeman asked about the repercussions of not passing the moratorium in Federal Way. Richardson’s response was short and to the point.

“If we don’t do this, then, our code is silent on that, and then we could have collective gardens that could spring up throughout the city,” she said.

Other jurisdictions in the region are passing similar moratoriums, including Kent, where more than 150 people packed a city council meeting this week to voice their views on the issue.

Richardson warned that federal law still prohibits all cannabis related activities, and that there is no guarantee how federal enforcement officers would proceed if the gardens were to be allowed within the city.

 

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