Local News

Pasco ponders moratorium on legal marijuana

PASCO, Wash. - One of the largest cities in Eastern Washington is pondering on a six-month moratorium on producing, processing and selling legalized recreational marijuana within city limits.

The Tri-City Herald reports the Pasco City Council says it needs more time to review the possible impacts of a state-regulated marijuana system, which voters approved last fall with the passage of Initiative 502.

Councilman Saul Martinez says legalized marijuana puts the city at risk of violating federal law and interfering with what Washington voters want.

City attorney Leland Kerr says cities can set six-month or yearlong moratoriums on marijuana-related businesses. The longer moratorium would require the city to show it is putting together a work plan for approving the businesses.

The first licenses for marijuana-related businesses in the state are expected to be issued late this year or early next year.

The council is expected to vote on the moratorium at its Sept. 3 meeting. A public hearing is planned for Oct. 7.