Marijuana Regulations

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On July 2, 2019, Clark County Council adopted ordinance 2019-07-01. On May 6, 2019, Clark County Council adopted Interim Ordinance 2020-05-03, which includes modifications to the original ordinance. Ordinance 2020-05-03 went into effect on May 16, 2020.

For questions, contact landuse@clark.wa.gov.

Overview

Marijuana has been legal for recreational use in Washington State since the passage of Initiative 502 in 2012. Marijuana production, processing, and retail facilities must obtain licenses from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) and obtain land use approval and building permits from Clark County. Clark County regulates land use in all unincorporated areas of the county (areas outside the cities and towns). Marijuana facilities must obtain land use approval and building permits from Clark County in addition to any approvals or licenses required by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is the primary agency responsible for licensing recreational and medical marijuana activities. The WSLCB implements statewide rules for the operation of legal recreational and medical marijuana facilities. WSLCB approval does not guarantee Clark County land use approval, nor does it vest an applicant to Clark County’s current land use code.

Geographic limitations (visit interactive map)

Clark County Code (CCC) 40.260.115 identifies the zones in which marijuana facilities are allowed. In summary, production, retail and processing is allowed only in:

Marijuana production facilities may be allowed on legal parcels of at least five (5) acres in size zoned AG-20 and FR-40, and on legal conforming parcels zoned IL and IH.

Marijuana processing facilities may be allowed on legal parcels as follows:

  1. Processor I facilities, on legal conforming parcels zoned IL, IH, and BP;
  2. Processor I facilities, on parcels of at least five (5) acres in size zoned AG-20 and FR-40, but only as accessory to licensed production facilities; and
  3. Processor II facilities, on parcels zoned IH, IL, and BP.

Marijuana retailing facilities may be allowed on legal conforming parcels zoned GC and CC.

In zones where marijuana facilities are allowed, permits and other siting requirements may be required. Clark County considers marijuana production and processing to be an industrial use, not an agricultural use.

NOTE: The Recreational Marijuana Map shows prospective Recreational Marijuana Producers, Processors, and Retailers where they can locate their business within unincorporated Clark County. While the map is a great tool that can assist marijuana businesses to find locations, it should be used with some discretion. It is the owners/license holders/applicants responsibility to independently verify that the site is not located within the appropriate distance criteria of a sensitive use as outlined in CCC40.260.115. The county also recommends that recreational marijuana related businesses contact the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) to verify that their location is acceptable.

Related County Definitions
Marijuana

“Marijuana” means all of the plant cannabis, whether growing or not, with a THC concentration greater than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin. The term does not include:

  1. The mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination; or
  2. Industrial hemp as defined in RCW 15.120.010.
(Source: RCW 69.50.101(2)(x))
Marijuana Processor

“Marijuana processor” means a facility licensed by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to transform marijuana into usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products, package and label usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products for sale in retail outlets, and sell usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products at wholesale to marijuana retailers. Processors are classified as follows:

  1.  Processor I: a facility limited to drying, curing, trimming, and packaging; and
  2.  Processor II: a facility that extracts concentrates, infuses products, or involves mechanical and/or chemical processing in addition to drying, curing, trimming, and packaging.
Marijuana Producer “Marijuana producer” means a facility licensed by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board for the growing and sale at wholesale of marijuana to marijuana processors and other marijuana producers.
Marijuana Retailer “Marijuana retailer” means a facility licensed by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board for the sale to consumers of usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products.
Medical Marijuana Cooperative “Medical marijuana cooperative” means a group of qualifying patients or designated providers who may form a cooperative and share responsibility for acquiring and supplying the resources needed to produce and process marijuana only for the medical use of members of the cooperative.

Related info

Washington State Marijuana Licensing

Department of Health Information on Marijuana

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Frequently Asked Questions

Washington State Legislature Chapter 3134-55 WAC: Marijuana Licenses, Application Process, Requirements, and Reporting

Washington State Liquor Control Board: Regulatory/Permitting Guidance for Marijuana Processor Operations


Initiative 502 (I-502) was passed by Washington voters in November of 2012. On May 27, 2014, the then Board of County Commissioners adopted an ordinance with the provision that the county will not issue any land use approvals for I-502 facilities until such time as marijuana is no longer listed as a federally-controlled substance. 

For information regarding past meetings on this topic, please visit the meetings page.