City of Pullman plans strict regulations for recreational marijuana

PULLMAN, WA - Pullman is one step closer to allowing recreational marijuana retailers in the city.

The council amended the city's zoning codes Tuesday night. Reporter Rachel Dubrovin tells us why opening up a pot shop in Pullman won't be easy.

(Pullman City Attorney Laura McAloon reads title of ordinances)

Tuesday night, Pullman Planning Director Pete Dickinson explained that the Washington State Liquor Control Board's regulations on recreational marijuana sales are already pretty strict.

"They do lessen the need for extensive regulations at the local level because they are so detailed," said Dickinson. "They want to trace the marijuana from "seed to sale" as they're saying."

But Pullman's regulations will go a step further

"They must be in a fully enclosed building, so there would be no outdoor grow operations allowed," said Dickinson.

The city will restrict how and when recreational marijuana is sold.

"There'll be no drive through, or exterior sales, so there'll be no deliveries of the product whatsoever," said Dickinson. "And hours of operation would be limited to 8:00 AM to 12:00 midnight."

And of course... where it's sold. Pot shops can't open up within a thousand feet of a "sensitive use" facilities.

"Sensitive uses are such things as child care centers, schools, public parks, recreation facilities, those types of things," said Dickinson.

If you look at a map where the "sensitive areas" are greyed-out, you can see that a lot of the city will be off limits for recreational pot retailers. However, they're allowed in the C-3 general commercial zones, that includes areas of North and South Grand Avenue, parts of Stadium Way, and on Bishop Boulevard.

"The entire downtown for instance, would be off limits," said Dickinson.

When it comes to enforcement, Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins said busting people for illegal possession of marijuana is more difficult.

"Now to get a warrant, we have to provide probable cause that the person that has the marijuana is under the age of 21," said Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins. "So that's going to be difficult for us to do."

But Jenkins explained that Initiative 502 defined the toxicity limit for driving under the influence of marijuana, making it easier to charge people with a DUI.

"And we would collect a blood sample to be able to test for that," said Jenkins.

These regulations won't go in effect until March sixth. Recreational marijuana retailers will need to get a license from the State Liquor Control Board before they can ask the city for a permit to open up shop.