Everett, Washington To Leave Number Of Retail Marijuana Pot Stores At Five

May 16, 2018

Everett Government

Everett retail Marijuana

The Everett City Council will stay with five retail marijuana stores within the Everett City limits.

After a long public hearing where 26 people testified, (most of whom were not from Everett), the Everett City Council Wednesday night failed to pass an ordinance recommended by the Everett Planning Commission to double the number of retail marijuana stores within the Everett, Washington city limits from five to ten.

Six city council members were present for the hearing and vote with council member Scott Murphy absent. He did send a written note into the record wonering what problem Everett was trying to solve by adding more stores and expressing concern about marijuana and young people. Murphy could not cast a vote as he was not physically present in council chambers. That left Scott Bader, Jeff Moore and Ethel McNeal voting against the ordinance and Judy Tuohy, Brenda Stonecipher and Paul Roberts voting for the ordinance. With no majority, the ordinance failed.

An amendment to the ordinance requiring any new shops to have medical certification as a condition of operating in Everett did pass but fell to the wayside as the ordinance itself did not get approved. This means that Everett will remain with the existing five marijuana stores with a 2500 foot separation between.

When the city passed the original retail marijuana ordinance in Everett two years ago limiting the number of shops to five after the State allocated ten licenses, the bill had a provision to revisit the number by June of 2018. That has now been done and things will remain the same.

In arguing against the additional shops, council member Scott Bader said he believed Everett had done its part honoring the will of I-502 voters and with so many other cities near Everett banning retail marijuana stores outright he saw no compelling reason for Everett to increase its number of stores.

Council member Judy Tuohy said she was disappointed that only two of the five existing retail marijuana stores in Everett offered medical products and thought the additional stores could offer a needed piece of the puzzle.

Council member Brenda Stonecipher said demand for marijuana is evolving and voters in both Washington State and within Everett approved legal marijuana. She also said that while raising three kids in Everett over the years marijuana was available in about 5000 places so Everett had been dealing with marijuana for years. She also said she didn’t want the five existing stores to have a monopoly and wanted the market to regulate supply and demand.

Council member Ethel McNeal expressed concern that so many of the speakers were from out of the area and questioned why they weren’t pressing the issue in their own town but were coming here to Everett. She also was concerned about the message all the stores send to young people.

Council President Paul Roberts related how he had been working on the issue with the Association of Cities for the last ten years and offered the amendment to require any new stores to add medical certifications.

Council member Jeff Moore said he felt the ordinance was not well designed and expressed concerns that more stores would hamper economic development in Everett. He also pointed out that along the SWIFT line in south Everett there are 17 different places to buy marijuana in what is called the green mile.

Again with Murphy absent and a 3-3 tie the ordinance died. Everett will keep it’s five current stores but not accept the additional five licensed by the State.

About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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