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No Pot-Shop Freeze-Out? Bill Would Ban Moratoriums

Some Washington lawmakers concerned about a possible pot-business freeze-out want to keep cities and towns from adopting marijuana-business bans.

Ten representatives in the House on Tuesday introduced a bill that would require cities and counties to cooperate with the state Liquor Control Board in terms of allowing licensed recreational marijuana gardens, processing facilities and stores within their jurisdictions. Local governments would have to treat those enterprises the same as any other business that attempts to locate within their boundaries.

Officials would be barred from having zoning or other regulations that impede the establishment of pot businesses. Those that don't comply could lose their share of disbursements from a state liquor-license account.

Washington voters legalized the sale of marijuana to adults over 21 in 2012. Since then, some cities and counties have adopted moratoriums or outright bans on legal pot businesses. Among them are Pierce County and the city of Wenatchee.