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Snohomish council ponders moving public pot vote to August

Update: This location of the council meeting is the Carnegie Building, 105 Cedar Avenue (corner of First Street and Cedar Avenue.)

SNOHOMISH —  A suggestion to move the date of Snohomish’s public advisory marijuana ballot measure from November to August will get further discussion at the March 21 City Council meeting.
The city bans marijuana retailers in town, but a shop owner has an approved state license to do everything but open shop at Second Street and Avenue D. The city’s restrictions prevent it from having a city business license.
The advisory vote is to let the City Council gauge the public’s interest in keeping the ban. It has no binding effect on changing city law.
Councilwoman Karen Guzak introduced the proposal at last week’s council meeting.
“We have a potential retail marijuana business that wants to open in the city, and by moving that up maybe it will provide more clarity to the council,” Guzak said.
Councilman Michael Rohrscheib agreed, saying he doesn’t know if changing the date changes opinions either way for the people who are going to vote, but the business owners “are sitting on a location and would like to proceed,” and council also needs to discuss the location the shop has sited itself.
“The applicant has been very patient and has been spending money on a monthly basis to hopefully move forward,” Rohrscheib said.
Mayor Tom Hamilton said the topic should come back to the March 21 meeting for a fuller conversation.
The meeting will start at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21 *at the Carnegie Building, 105 Cedar Ave.
The city has until May to decide if it wants to put a vote on the August primary ballot and the deadline stretches into mid-August to put something on the November ballot.
The shop, which will be known as The Kushery Snohomish, received its state license on Dec. 8. It wants to operate inside the same building that houses the 76 gas station at the corner.
In late 2014, the council outlawed recreational marijuana businesses in a 4-3 vote with a large audience of marijuana opponents watching. Last year, the council narrowly voted 4-3 to put an advisory vote on November’s ballot, again with a large crowd watching.
Guzak, Rohrscheib, Dean Randall and Lynn Schilaty voted yes with Councilmen Derrick Burke and Hamilton, plus ex-councilman Zach Wilde, voted against.
Hamilton became Snohomish’s mayor last month after longtime mayor Guzak decided to step away from the figurehead role.

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