By Steve Elliott
Prospective locations for legal marijuana stores under Washington state's legalization law, I-502, just got harder to find. The 1,000-foot buffer required between cannabis businesses and schools, playgrounds, parks and arcades will now be measured in a straight line, "as the crow flies," rather than along customary paths of travel such as streets and sidewalks.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board, in charge of implementing cannabis legalization in the state, has announced they will file an emergency rule on October 16, updating the 1,000-foot buffer required between a licensed marijuana store and a school, playground, park, arcade, and other places where those under 21 are present, reports KXRO.
Under the current proposed rules, the 1,000 feet limit is to be measured "along the most direct route over or across established public walks, streets, or other public passageway between the proposed building/business location to the perimeter of the grounds," in other words the distance was measured using actual streets and sidewalks.
"We've since learned that this measurement, as it pertains to marijuana, conflicts with federal law," Liquor Control Board Director Rick Garza said. "Although the emergency rule won't be filed until October 16, it is critical that we announce our intentions now so that potential licensees, local government and law enforcement will have clarity and predictability going forward.