Recreational and Medical Marijuana in Vancouver
Since 2014, City of Vancouver has allowed recreational marijuana retailers, producers and processors, subject obtaining a state license from the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), and complying with additional City standards.
State licensing requires:
- Recreational marijuana facilities to be located at least 1,000 feet from the nearest existing school, park, playground, daycare center, transit center, recreation center or library.
- Compliance with operational, security, record-keeping, advertising, labeling, transportation and other requirements.
- Criminal and background checks for prospective owners and financiers
- Adults may purchase up to one ounce of marijuana from the stores, but can only consume marijuana on private, non-commercial property outside of public view.
City standards require:
- Maximum of twelve (12) retail stores are permitted within the City of Vancouver.
- A Vancouver business license, and possibly a building permit, site plan or other approvals, depending on the degree of construction involved
- Indoor facilities only
- Retail facilities to locate in the Community and General Commercial zones only, and at least 300 feet from each other
- Producing and processing facilities to locate in the Light and Heavy Industrial zones only
- Compliance with Southwest Washington Clean Air Agency odor standards
- Marijuana products and cash to be locked in constructed or secured safe
- 11 p.m. closing time
- No off-site signage
- Compliance with state standards, including 1000 foot buffer requirements
Vancouver does not prohibit individual medically authorized marijuana users or their designated growers from possessing or growing small amounts of marijuana as allowed under state law, provided possession or growing of marijuana cannot be readily seen or smelled from public areas or sidewalk, or from nearby residences. Vancouver also does not allow for four-person medial cooperatives in residential zones. Vancouver and Washington laws do not allow for medical dispensaries, marijuana delivery businesses, or marijuana clubs or lounges.
For more information or to be put on a mailing list for future changes, please contact:
Department of Community Development
Department of Community Development
Marijuana is legal but do you know the law?
Can I consume Marijuana in public places such as parks or in my vehicle?
No! Washington State law, or Revised Code of Washington, RCW 69.50.445 states:
It is unlawful to open a package containing marijuana, useable marijuana, or a marijuana-infused product, or consume marijuana, useable marijuana, or a marijuana-infused product, in view of the general public. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class 3 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW.
The penalty for opening a package of or consuming marijuana, useable marijuana, or marijuana-infused product in view of general public is a civil fine of $103.
Crossing the Washington State line:
Washington laws on possession and consumption of marijuana differ from the laws of other states (including Oregon). Anyone buying marijuana in Washington should understand the laws of the state you are traveling to before crossing the state line. Failure to do so could result in criminal action being taken against you.
Remind me of the legal possession amounts?
- The law allows a person 21 or older to have up to 1 ounce of useable marijuana OR up to 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product OR up to seventy-two ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form. (i.e., you may NOT possess the maximum amount of marijuana in two or more forms at any one time.)
- Possession of more than 28 grams, but less than 40 grams is still a misdemeanor.
- Possession of 40 grams of marijuana is still a felony.
What does the new law mean for law enforcement?
- I-502 changes very little for law enforcement, it merely de-criminalizes possession of limited amounts of marijuana. Consumption and opening a package of marijuana in public are civil infractions.
- It is still illegal for persons under 21 years of age to possess or consume any amount of marijuana or marijuana-infused products.
- Driving under the influence of marijuana or under the combined influence of marijuana and anything else, such as alcohol, is illegal and law enforcement agencies continue to strictly enforce DUI laws.