Letters to the Editor

County missed the mark on pot regulation

King County seems to want to bend over backwards to push through a change in their zoning rules that will allow an energy-intensive, huge indoor grow at K2. While I support I-502, I do wish the zoning rules could have considered King County’s efforts to help our environment by making outdoor and greenhouse growing possible. I personally spent months applying for and planning an island owned, sun-energy, organic grow operation, but the county’s marijuana zoning ordinance rules made it economically unfeasible. It seems like the county should have consulted with the state experts when writing their rules and that those rules should have promoted low carbon means of production.

Instead King County will produce very little if any outdoor/greenhouse grown marijuana. At a Dec. 29 King County Council meeting, a single council person moved to amend the zoning ordinance recommended by the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review. That change in effect limited a rural area producer to 2,000 square feet of plant canopy. I could have made that work if not for an inexplicable rule written by someone at DPER who knew very little about growing and processing marijuana. The council and DPER made it impossible to use even half of the 2,000 square feet that would have been allotted by my license.

It was bad enough that it took the county until January to finalize its rules, months after the state’s rules were finalized. It’s worse that they eliminated the chance of having environmentally responsible marijuana grown on our island.

— James Clark

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