Grays Harbor marijuana license moratorium extended

The Grays Harbor County Commissioners have extended a moratorium on siting and permitting of licensed marijuana production and processing.

At their morning meeting on Tuesday, the commissioners considered an ordinance to extend a moratorium on new marijuana production and processing facilities, by six months to November 4, 2022.

According to Planning and Building Director Suresh Bhagavan, this extension would allow staff to propose changes to the Grays Harbor County Code.

Bhagavan said during the meeting that the extension was being requested to finalize regulations. On April 28, a public hearing is scheduled with the Building Codes Advisory Council to look at building regulation needs, as well as another public hearing be tentatively scheduled for June 7 with the Planning Commission to discuss possible land-use regulations. 

Bhagavan added that with ongoing research into the topic and the public hearings being planned in the coming months, the need for the full extension may not be necessary.

Grays Harbor Commissioner Vickie Raines said that her hope is that regulations can be put in place so that interested businesses can proceed with any of their plans.

The commissioners had initially passed a moratorium in November 2020, extending it in May 2021 and October 2021, each in six-month increments to extend.

Bhagavan spoke on the intent of the moratorium at the time, stating that this was an opportunity to “step back” and see if new regulations were needed. Following that process, the ordinance could be lifted.

The commissioners unanimously approved the extension.