Everett continues talks on allowing more marijuana stores in city
EVERETT — The City Council’s Public Safety Commission would like to have a third conversation next month on whether to open the city to more marijuana retailers before forwarding the idea before the whole City Council, but so far it’s learned a few things.
First, it can write a city regulation mandating that any future shops carry a medical marijuana endorsement. The endorsement means a trained professional is on staff to guide people on medical uses for cannabis.
Second, while five more shops are interested in opening, not all five can pass muster to open within the city’s current zoning code.
The commission is made up of Councilwomen Brenda Stonecipher, Judy Tuohy and Liz Vogeli.
Tuohy and Stonecipher are definitely interested in seeing any future shops carry a medical endorsement, and expressed disappointment last week that only two out of Everett’s five current shops have endorsements. Those shops are Bud’s Garage and KushMart, according to city chief of staff Lyle Ryan.
Vogeli put the recurring topic on the table this summer when she asked for a council vote to expand the city’s limit to 10 shops. The issue got sent to the commission for review instead.
The city has a five-store limit the council set in place in summer 2016. The state determined at the time that Everett can have 10 stores based on its size.
The commissioners said they might be comfortable lifting the limit to allow three more stores as long as the medical endorsement is required.
Tuohy and Stonecipher said at the meeting that they wouldn’t consider lifting the limit without this mandate in place.
There are retailers already waiting in the wings with state licenses in hand that cannot open in the parcels they are currently paying rent on, since the city’s five retail slots are filled. A handful of store licensees spoke at the City Council meeting asking the city limitation be lifted.
Vogeli said she received emails from these retailers pledging to get a medical endorsement. Tuohy said she wanted something more concrete by having a city law requiring it.
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