Last week, a Pierce County Judge upheld the City of Fife’s Ban on Recreational Marijuana Businesses. The Court determined that the State’s recreational marijuana statute does not require cities and counties to allow these businesses within their jurisdictions.
The Seattle Times’ coverage can be found here.
The court case stems from a lawsuit filed by a marijuana retailer, who wished to locate its recreational marijuana retail business in Fife. Although Fife did prevail as to its ability to ban these businesses, the Court did not rule on another issue raised by Fife – whether the State’s Recreational Marijuana Statute is preempted by federal law.
During the hearing, however, the Judge did state that Washington’s approach to legalizing marijuana is not at odds with the Controlled Substances Act. This bolsters the State Attorney General’s position that #I502 does not conflict with federal law.
It is unclear whether this court decision will affect bans implemented by other cities and counties in Washington as the decision appears to be specific to the small town of Fife. In any event, the case will most likely be appealed as these widespread bans undercut the State’s ability to eradicate the illegal marijuana market.
For more information on the regulation of recreational marijuana businesses in Whatcom County and elsewhere in Washington State, please contact Heather Wolf.