Moratoria redux: Rural residential blues and what to do


by Dominic Corva, Executive Director

The first wave of moratoria grabbed a lot of media headlines, and indeed got CASP its earliest national media attention.  My position then was that they were a nonstory, given that no production was imminent.  This time, there is cause for alarm and no media coverage to be had.

There is a new wave of moratorium fever sweeping the state.  Snohomish County passed an emergency moratorium yesterday despite a good turnout from folks trying to prevent it from happening, and just last week I heard from a Port Townshend producer that Olympic Peninsula counties are gearing up for similar struggles.

I don’t have much information yet, but my initial grasp is that they have to do with locating I 502 production in rural residential areas.  This is a very specific moratorium type with very specific, non-governmental catalysts: neighbors of “mom and pop” producers — Tier 1 and Tier 2s.  Tier 3s will not have this problem nearly to this degree, because they aren’t located in residential areas; and it would appear that Eastern Washington is less affected.

This is a story, and it needs to be in the headlines far more than the previous moratorium coverage cycle.  I do not have the interns I had when we did the first study, so I’m going to need a lot of help to coordinate the gathering of information about this problem; how people are organizing against it; and what tactics are working or not working.  Please send information. including invitations to come talk in person. to:


Thank you!

2 thoughts on “Moratoria redux: Rural residential blues and what to do

  1. It is clear after witnessing testimonies on 9/16, 9/29 and 10/1 that we need a cannabis task force to address concerns on all sides.

    A majority of Sno Co residence voted for legal marijuana and are now living through the pains and uncertainties of the implementation.

    Many have invested their life savings into Snohomish County R-5 properties with the hopes of creating a sustainable family business, while others moved to R-5 believing their neighborhood was residential in nature and are extremely concerned over safety and water quality.

    Out of the 88 business located on R-5 or CRC property that applied for a state license to convert their property to a legal cannabis farm only 23 are actually in the process of obtaining their building or change of us permits via Sno Co Planning & Development. It came to light during testimony that some of the licensee applicants skipped the permit process all together and are moving forward with their plans to become licensed via the Liquor Control Board which is not requiring licensees to have compliant permits for their areas.

    In the mean time, the recreational I-502 stores are nearly void of product while the unregulated medical marijuana businesses are asking to become licensed and regulated.

    All this time and confusion is helping the under ground ‘black market’ to continue to provide the Western United States with quality Washington grown pot as they have been doing for DECADES. If you live in Sno Co, your neighbors are already growing pot, you just haven’t seen them.

    It is time to not be afraid of this plant and move forward in a progressive and solution oriented manner to make this work for all.

  2. Thank you CASP for helping to get the word out about this! Together with my husband, I am one of these “mom and pop” producer/processor applicants (Tier 2, less than 7,000 sq ft of plant canopy) who participated in the 2013 rule-making process. I was shocked to learn that the Snohomish County Council was considering the declaration of an “emergency” because of two community meetings attended by two Council Members and the complaints of a few neighbors of a 502 farm. We have a process for reviewing and changing zoning laws — a process that worked very well in 2013. The Snohomish County Ag Board, the Planning Commission, the County Council and dozens of local residents and business owners participated in this multi-month process. The Council has already referred new potential zoning regulations, (Motion-14-318), to the Planning Commission for review and public comment. The Council should let that process move forward and not interfere with so many people’s lives and livelihoods by suddenly declaring an “emergency” where none exists.

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