Spokane, Wash – Even though you can light up, you can't buy pot. But in less than a year, that’ll probably change.
Spokane's city council and planning commission are already starting to figure out how the city's going to handle incoming marijuana businesses. Spokane City Council members said they want to get the city prepared for the inevitable new business. According to the Spokane City Council, the state’s liquor control board has until Dec. 1 to write the rules, and have licenses ready to hand out.
Councilman Jon Snyder said, in the mean time, the City of Spokane needs to figure out where new stores can go. The way Initiative 502 is written, the liquor control board isn't allowed to issue a license to a marijuana business within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds, parks, libraries, public transit centers among a few others. So it's the planning commission's job to identify certain areas of town that will legally work.
Snyder said the city has a lot of work to do to get ready, but it's important to do it now. That way the community will be protected, and people can profit from what could be a lucrative business.
“We need to engage folks who want to get into the marijuana business and see what their concerns are, landlords, what their concerns are. Real estate folks. This is the time for people to start think about how this will actually work,” Snyder said.
Here are a few important dates you need to know:
-Feb. 10 is the last day the liquor control board will accept public comment before drafting rules for marijuana producers. A producer is someone who can produce and sell marijuana.
-The first public hearing will be on April 10.
-May 18 the rules for marijuana producers become effective, which will lay out parameters and how to go about opening a business.
-Shops will be able to open their doors December 1.