Clark County lifts moratorium on marijuana businesses

The Clark County Council last night voted to remove a ban on marijuana businesses in the unincorporated area. The ban had been in place in the county since May 2014.

Earlier this year, the County Council initiated discussions of lifting the moratorium on marijuana, and last month the Clark County Planning Commission recommended to the County Council that the moratorium on marijuana businesses be lifted. Under this update to Title 40 of the Clark County Code, marijuana producers, processors and retailers will be permitted in certain zones in the unincorporated county.

The code adopted by the Council maintains the prohibition on marijuana establishments within 1,000 feet of an elementary or secondary school or public playground, as required by state law, but reduces the buffer to 500 feet for child care centers, libraries, churches, transit centers and recreational facilities. The council also added a 500foot buffer for substance use disorder treatment facilities. Additionally, marijuana retail businesses will be allowed to be open until 11 p.m., the same as the city of Vancouver.

The changes go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. More information is available on the county’s website at https://www.clark.wa.gov/community-planning/marijuana-regulations.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.