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Bainbridge council to review marijuana business regulations

The Bainbridge Island City Council will make its first modifications to the city's rules for marijuana business on Bainbridge during this week's meeting.

Late last month, the council approved regulations for marijuana retail, processing and growing enterprises, and set an automatic repeal date of Nov. 12, 2014 for the interim rules.

The council agreed that in the meantime it would revise its regulations to better address the concerns of the community.

Under the current regulations, marijuana retailers are limited to three neighborhood service centers: Lynwood Center, Rolling Bay and Island Center.

The state Liquor Control Board has said one retail operation will be allowed on Bainbridge.

Three businesses have since applied for Bainbridge's sole license.

Evergreen which would be located near Jiffy Mart in Rolling Bay was ranked first in the state lottery last month.

Ranked second was Sticky Finger Farms and third was Bainbridge Highlands, both of which are located on Miller Road.

In the last two public hearings before the temporary ordinance passed, the council heard from numerous residents opposed to marijuana retail in Rolling Bay due to it being a family-friendly area.

In response to some of the feedback, city staff submitted an inquiry to the state asking if the nearby Island Music Guild qualified as a recreational center where the state's 1,000-foot buffer would apply.

The Liquor Control Board responded that the music guild does not meet the definition of a recreation center because, while children attend lessons there, it is not the primary scope of the venue.

The city council may decide to expand its local regulations on marijuana retail to incorporate organizations like the guild into the 1,000-foot buffer condition.

Also under the current regulations, marijuana processing and growing would be allowed in the city's business-industrial zone on Day Road.

Growers will, additionally, operate indoors, and will be required to generate 50 percent of their energy usage from renewable energy.

The energy condition, some residents and council members argued, should be one of the first modifications made on the ordinance.

Though the ordinance passed unanimously due to the Nov. 12 sunset date, Councilman Val Tollefson explained that requiring an energy condition would be unfair and drive potential businesses out or under.

The city council will discuss potential modifications to the ordinance during the "staff intensive" portion of the agenda.

The council meets at 7 p.m. Monday in city hall.

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