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Seattle MMJ letter and Tips

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City of Seattle Department of Planning and Finance have sent this letter and published a list of tips to known medical marijuana collectives operating storefronts in the city.
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  City of Seattle EdwardB.Murray, Mayor Finance and  dministrative Services FredPodesta Director  epartment of  lanningand evelopment DianeSugimura,Director October 16 2 14Dear Seattle Business Operator: TheSeattleDepartment of PlanningandDevelopment(DPD)recentlyissuedanupdatedTip Sheetoutliningrequirementsforoperatingabusinessinvolvingthegrowing,processing,selling,ordelivery of marijuanainSeattle.Aswithanybusiness,youmustcomplywithSeattle'szoning code,obtainallrequiredpermits,andobtainabusinesslicenseandpayallapplicabletaxes.The enclosedTipSheet134explainsthesespecificrequirements. Seattlealsohasregulationsspecificto majormarijuanaactivity, whichincludesallactivitythat involvesmorethan45marijuanaplantsor72ouncesofuseablemarijuana.Majormarijuana activityisprohibitedincertainzones.ItisalsoprohibitedeverywhereinSeattlewithoutalicense issuedbytheWashingtonStateLiquorControlBoard(LCB).Businessesthathavebeen conductingmajormarijuanaactivitysincebeforeNovember16,2013haveuntilJuly1,2015(or January1,2016,dependingonactionbythestatelegislature),toeither:(1)obtainastate-issued licenseor(2)stopconductingmajormarijuanaactivity.Any new (i.e.,commencingonorafter November 16, 2013 major marijuana activityin Seattle must haveastate license. Ifyou began operatingafterNovember16,2013anddonothaveastateissuedlicense,youareinviolationof Citylawandcanbesubjecttoenforcementaction. WeurgeyoutocarefullyreviewTipSheet 134 andallofthecitedSeattleMunicipalCode provisions.Notethat compliance with Seattle laws regarding zoning,buildingpermits,and businesslicensesdoesnotnecessarilyconstitutecompliancewithapplicablestateandfederal laws—youareindependentlyresponsibleforreviewing,understanding,andcomplyingwithstateand federal lawsrelatedtomarijuana. You should consultyourownattorneyabouttheselaws andhowtheyaffectyourbusiness.Althoughmarijuanaremainsillegalunderfederallaw,the U.S. DepartmentofJustice issued a memorandum onAugust29,2013,outliningitsenforcementprioritiesregardingmarijuana.Ifyouareoperatingasan 1-502 business,pleaseconsultwiththe LCB regardingapplicable laws, rules,andprocedures.Ifyouareoperatingasamedicalmarijuanabusiness,wesuggestcarefullyreviewingRCWChapter69.50andrecentcaselaw interpretingthislaw, including State v eis 180 Wn. App. 438,322P.3d 1238  2014 . The courtin  is heldthatcompliancewithmedicalmarijuanalawscreatesanaffirmativedefenseto criminalprosecutionbutdoesnotpreventsuchprosecution. DepartmentofFinanceandAdministrativeServicesDepartmentofPlanningandDevelopment 700FifthAvenue, 42 «»  43rdFloors700FifthAvenue,Suite2000 P.O. Box 94669,Seattle,Washington98124-4669 P.O. Box 34019,Seattle,Washington98124-4019 Tel (206)386-0041 Fax (206)684-7898Tel(206)684-8600 Fax (206) 233-7883 http://www.seattle.gov/FAShttp://www.seattle.gov/DPD HearingImpairedusetheWashingtonRelayService(7-1-1)  SeattleBusinessOperator October 16 2 14 Page2 Thankyouforyourattentiontotheimportantdetails of operatingwithinapplicablelegalrequirements. If youhaveanyquestions regarding zoning, laind use,orbuildingcodeissues relating toa marijuana businessin Seattle please contact Art Pederson at206-684-0638or art.pederson@seattle.govat DPD If youhaveB Otaxorbusinesslicenseissuestoaddress, pleasecontactCherieMacleodwiththeDepartment of FinanceandAdministrativeServices (FAS)at206-615-0760orcherie.macleod@seattle.gov. If afterreachingouttoDPDor FAS you stillhaveproblemsorquestions,pleasecontacttheCity sCustomerServiceBureau(CSB)at 206-684-CITY(2489).StaffattheCSBcananswergeneralquestionsor,dependingonyour inquiry,referyoutotheappropriateindividualwhocanbetterassistyou. Sinoelrely, m lA  HUtte Denise Movius DeputyDirector Finance and Administrative Services Faith Lumsden ComplianceDirector Department of PlanningandDevelopment   usinesses Involving the Growing Processing Selling orDelivery of Marijuana September 25 2 14 Thegrowing, processing, sellingordeliveryofmarijuanais subject to state, federal, and cityregulations. This document is intended toexplainhowCityof Seat tle regulations, effective as of November 16, 2013, are likelyto apply to marijuana-related businesses. The City does notprovideany guidance on state and fed eralregulations so itishighly encouraged that busi nesses proposing to engage in these activities consult alawyer beforethey proceed on anypermits. ThisTipmay be mosthelpfulincombinationwithTip 102— Small Business:Getting Your Use and Building Permit fromDPD, which provides general informationon gettingpermits. What  o You Need to Know Beforeyou start this process, it w be helpfulto deter mine the following: ã Whatis the zoning for theproposed location? GotoDPD s parcel data applicationat http://web1. seattle.gov/dpd/parceldata/. Typein the address ofyour proposedbusiness tofind zoning information. Notethe base zoneand whether it is located ina historicdistrictor an urban villageoverlay.Ifyou want to see thezoning fora larger area, you canuse the DPDGIStoolat web1.seattle.gov/dpd/ maps/dpdgis.aspx. ã What changes will be necessary to improve theproperty? Common changes that may require a permit include: change of use (for example, putting a retail salesbusiness where a restaurant used to be , additions, modification of walls or structural City of SeattleDepartment of Planning   Development elements inexisting buildings, or changes to elec tricalwiring, plumbing, or mechanicalsystems. WhatPermits are Necessary? Apermitislikelyto be required ifyou are planning to do any of the following: ã change or add a use on your property such as converting an office toaretail space ã change thebuilding s interior,like moving or add ing non-structural walls ã change wiringor electrical plugs ã change the mechanical systems ã change the plumbing system ã use flammable or compressed liquidsor gases or store significant amounts offertilizerãinstall, alter or repair any permanent signthat isvisiblefrom the publicright-of-wayInformationon the types of permitsthat may be requiredis available inTip 102 and on thepermitweb siteat www.seattle.gov/dpd/permits/. Large projects involvingmultiple systemsand new uses are typically handled througha singleconstructionpermit while smallerprojects involving onlyelectrical, mechanical, orplumbingwork can often be done through separate electrical, mechanical, or plumbingpermits. What Restrictions Exist on the Location of TheseBusinesses? In addition to stateand federal restrictions,individuals proposing a marijuana-related business mustmeetboththemarijuana-specificregulations in Seattle Municipal Code 23.42.058 and any general require ments forthe use category. To understand whether a specificbusinessmay be allowedinalocation,you should know the type of use that is proposed, the base zoning of the location, and if the location isin an overlay district such as a historicdistrict or theStadium Transition Overlay District. 700 Fifth Ave. Suite2000 P.O.Box 34019  ttle WA 98124-4019 (206)684-8600 Printedontotallychlorine free paper made with 1 post consumerfiber   P ip  134—BusinessesinvolvingtheGrowing Processing Selling orDeliveryof  arijuana p g Majormarijuanaactivity means thatyou are growing, processing, selling and/or deliveringlargeamounts ofmarijuanaormarijuana-infusedproducts.Major activityinvolves morethan 45plantsor72 ounces of useable marijuanaormarijuana-infusedproducts. Marijuanaactivityisallowedon any lotorin associa tionwithany house orapartmentifitisnot major marijuanaactivity*;providedtheCity sHome Occupa tionRules and WashingtonState scollective garden regulations are met.  ypes   ses All business activities are regulated in part based on the uses  such as retail salesand service orfood processing) they contain. Since  marijuana-related is nota separateuse category, thesebusinesses must follow the rules for the use or uses that most closely describe their activities. Many businesses will have multiple uses onsite.Certain uses may be prohibited indifferent zones of the cityor may be subject to size limitsor other restrictions.Belowisa summary of thecommon uses that marijuana-related business may contain and howthey may be limitedin Seattle.  rowing of marijuana wouldgenerally occur within an  urban farm use, which is defined as follows:  Urbanfarm means a use inwhich plants are grown for sale oftheplantsortheirproducts, and inwhichtheplantsortheir products aresoldatthelotwhere they are grownoroffsite,orboth, and inwhichno otheritems are sold. Examplesmay includeflower andvegetableraising,orchards and vineyards. IndesignatedManufacturing and IndustrialCenters, whichincludeportionsoftheDuwamish Valley Ballard, and Interbay,urbanfarm uses arespecificallylimitedtorooftop and  indooragricultureoperations. Indooragriculturaloperation means abusi ness establishment with an agricultural use that islimitedtoplantsgrownincontainerswithinan en losed structure.  rocessing of marijuana intootherproductsfor humanconsumption  baked goods, infusions,oils, etc.),wouldgenerallyoccur within afoodprocessing orlightmanufacturing use,depending on the pro cess used. However,dryingofmarijuana as part ofa combined growing and processing operationwould  e considered incidental to the urban farm use and would not be considered a separate use. Ifmarijuanais processed withouta mechanized assembly line,itwouldgenerally occur withina food processing and craftwork use, whichis categorized as acommercial(notamanufacturing) use.Food processing is defined as follows:  Foodprocessing means afood processing and craftwork use inwhichfoodfor human consump tioninitsfinalform, such as candy, bakedgoods, seafood, sausage, tofu, pasta, etc.,is produced, when the foodis distributed toretailers or whole salers for resale off thepremises.Food or bev erage processing using mechanized assembly line production of canned or bottled goods is not included in this definition, but shall  e considered to be lightmanufacturing..r Ifa mechanized assembly lineis used,processing of marijuana could occur withinalight manufacturinguse, which is defined in relevantpart as follows:  Lightmanufacturing means amanufacturing use, typicallyhavinglittleornopotentialof creating noise, smoke, dust, vibration orother environmental impacts orpollution, and including but not limited to...[c]anningorbottlingoffoodor beverages for humanconsumptionusing a mechanizedassembly lineorfood processing foranimal consumption... Sale or delivery of marijuana and related products would generally occur withina general retail salesand servicesuse, which is defined as follows:  Retail sales and services,general means a general salesand service use thatisnotamulti purposeretail salesuse [grocerystore].General retail salesand services include general retail sales uses,general services uses, and customer service office uses. Examples of general retail sales include butare not limited to bookstores, florists, and clothing stores.Examples of generalservices include but are not limitedto shoe repair,haircutting salons, pet grooming, pet daycarecenters and dry cleaning. Customerservice offices are uses inwhich servicesare provided toindividu als and households in an office setting ina man nerthat encourages walk-inclientele and inwhichgenerallyanappointmentisnot needed to conduct business, includingbutnotlimitedto uses such as branch banks, travel agencies,brokerage firms, real estate offices, and government agencies that provide direct services to clients. Itispossiblethatadelivery-only business withno walk-in customers could  e considered a different use such as office;however,thiswould depend on the specifics of thebusiness. LEGALDISCLAIMER: ThisTipshouldnot be used asasubstituteforcodesandregulations Theapplicantisresponsibleforcompliance withall codeand rulerequirements whetherornot described inthisTip
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