Local Implementation of I-502

Read our Local Implementation (Cities) progress report, including legislative trends here.             (Updated 3/26)

Read our Local Implementation (Counties) report here. (Updated 3/28)

Read our analysis regarding the Attorney General’s opinion affirming local bans here.

Background:  Washington voters approved Initiative 502 in November 2012 setting up a legal system to tax and regulate marijuana for recreational use.  Cities and counties were given authority to pass additional zoning regulations.  Cities have final authority granting licensing for marijuana businesses, following state approval.

ProjectThe Center collected data on the 75 most populous cities in Washington to examine how local governments have handled I-502 implementation legislatively.


ZONED:  City council passed legislation zoning areas where marijuana businesses could apply or updated the Municipal Code recognizing recreational marijuana.

MORATORIUM: City council passed legislation putting a hold on accepting marijuana licenses.  These ranged from 6-12 months.

BANNED:  City passes legislation banning marijuana businesses until the drug is approved federally or officials have threatened to ban.

NO ACTIONCities took no legislative action, will treat marijuana businesses like any other business or simply expands medical marijuana laws to recreational.

# of cities %* Population Impacted
ZONED 33 44% 2,293,070
MORATORIUM 29 39% 1,094,924
BANNED 5 7% 223,416
NO ACTION 8 11% 265,749
Total 75 3,855,879

*Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number. 

Key Findings:

  • 39% of surveyed cities have implemented moratoriums on accepting any marijuana related business licenses.
  • At least 1.1 million Washington residents will be impacted by local moratoriums or bans.
  • 5 cities have banned marijuana business all together.

Information on Washington cities and counties not included in the report can be found on the map below.  Links to legislation passed by city council’s can be found below the map.

Last updated (3/17/14)legend

Recent changes:  Ellensburg, Spokane Valley, Longview, Enumclaw, Arlington, Lake Stevens, Whatcom County, Yakima, Vancouver, Okanogan County, Chelan County





Anacortes – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Arlington – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Auburn – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Bellevue – ZONED (interim) – Ordinance

Bonney Lake – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Burien – ZONED (Interim) –  Ordinance

Burlington – ZONED – Ordinance

Bellingham – ZONED – Ordinance

Camas – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Chehalis – MORATORIUM – City Council Minutes

Cheney – ZONED – Ordinance

Covington – ZONED (Interim) – Ordinance

Des Moines – ZONED – Ordinance

East Wenatchee -MORATORIUM – City Council Minutes

Edmonds – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Ephrata- ZONED – City Council Minutes

Everett – ZONED (Interim) – Ordinance

Federal Way – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Ferndale – ZONED – Ordinance

Issaquah – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Kennewick – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Lake Forest Park – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Lake Stevens – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Longview – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Lynden – MORATORIUM – City Council Minutes

Lynnwood – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Marysville – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Mill Creek – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Monroe – ZONED (Interim) – Ordinance

Mukilteo – ZONED – Ordinance

Oak Harbor- MORATORIUM – City Council Minutes

Olympia – ZONED (Interim) – Ordinance

Pasco – MORATORIUM – Resolution

Port Orchard – ZONED (Draft) – Ordinance

Port Townsend – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Puyallup – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Redmond – MORATORIUM – City Council Minutes

Richland – MORATORIUM – Resolution

Sammamish – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Seattle – ZONED – Ordinance

SeaTac – BAN – Ordinance

Spokane -ZONED – Municipal Code

Sunnyside – MORATORIUM – Resolution

Tacoma – ZONED – Ordinance

Tumwater – ZONED – Ordinance

Tukwila – ZONED – Ordinance

Vancouver – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Walla Walla – ZONED – City Council Minutes

Woodinville – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Yakima – MORATORIUM – Ordinance


Chelan County – MORATORIUM – County Commissioners Minutes

Clark County – MORATORIUM – Resolution

Columbia County – MORATORIUM – County Commissioner Minutes

Douglas County – ZONED – Resolution

Franklin County – MORATORIUM – County Commissioner Minutes

Grays Harbor County – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Island County – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

King County – ZONED – Zoning Information

Lewis County – ZONED – Ordinance

Skamania County – MORATORIUM – Ordinance

Snohomish County – ZONED –Ordinance

Stevens County – MORATORIUM – Resolution

Thurston County – ZONED (interim) –Ordinance








22 thoughts on “Local Implementation of I-502

  1. Is this an updated list, current to today’s date? I’m in Douglas county and heard there was a moratorium on commercial pot grows.
    Thank you!

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  3. Snohomish city council are banning this in their county. They have used every tactic to prevent 502 business from opening up. Now they have called an emergency meeting that will extend the moratorium indefinitely and disallow the WA Liquor Control Board from issuing new licenses within Snohomish County.

  4. Edgewood wa, is not on the list because of it being its own city but after working with the 7 city council members for 7 months they have zoned the whole city out ,NO MARIJUANA .in any way shape or form,dont you think they should of let me know before i spent thousands,this should not be legal for a city to lead you on for months,it should be yes or no from the beginning someone owes me alot of money.

  5. Mount Vernon has Ordinances and zoning for South Mount Vernon operations and a SOON to be opening Recreational Shop. I haven’t heard whether there will be any production or processing facilities as of yet though.

  6. Please review your assigning of a”moratorium” status to Port Townsend. In fact, the City has adopted interim rules which allow for any I-502 business so long as they are located in certain zones (manufacturing for prod./processing;commercial for retail) and after a prospective business has secured their WSLCB license. It is not a moratorium but an interim set of rules adopted while permanent regs. are developed, reviewed and adopted. See city wbb site for more info or contact Senior Planner John McDonagh (360-344-3070) for more info.

  7. lee, thanks for posting about those bans being lifted. It’s crucial to keep examining what is giving the muni’s reason to end their bans. That kind of information may be influential as good guidance for other muni’s.

  8. just to update your files, Arlington and Lake Stevens have lifted the moratoriums and now allow up to Tier 2 licenses in zoned areas. If you are also processor you can go to 15,000 sq. ft. in Arlington, not sure about Lake Stevens.

  9. Marysville, WA city council put a moratorium in place. The members on the city council are very inflexible. One city council member, who was on the planning commission, stated back in 2012 that the council should make a decision before 1/1/14 instead of leaving this issue open. The council did not want to be pressured into any decisions. To this day nothing has occurred. I commend cities that have stepped up and made a decision on this issue. Yes! There will be obstacles. The implementation of any thing new is going to run into obstacles. If the positive side of this large issue is viewed before the obstacles, many will see the opportunities and work through the obstacles.
    We have lobbied the council and the planning commission. I have also had my opinion on the implementation of this new industry in this community paper, since 52.6% want access to marijuana in Marysville, I thought the community needed to know what decisions were being made for the residence. All members on the planning commission are well over 50 and decided to make their decision based on the few people that attended the meeting on 1/14/14. Most in attendance were church goers. The commission decided to make their decision based on their own personal views on addiction and how it effected their family. The moratorium still stands.
    Instead of putting our resources into this community, we have taken our business to a new city that has a permanent zoning.

  10. landlords, insurance companys and lenders are not allowing 502 state applicants an opportunity to atempt a lease negociation. this is becomming a huge stubbling block for current applicants to continue licensing process, there should be made some concession from state Liqour Control Board of Washigton to grant extensions more than 30 days to come up with location and address for such a business.

  11. Hi Drew. Nice work. I’ve been wanting to collect this data too.
    By any chance, have you been developing a archive of local news media and how they are presenting the options? It would be interesting to see who is leading the effort in those communities that have banned or developed moratoria. It would also be interesting to match that, and your survey, to local law enforcement positions.

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