Marijuana Processing and Growing

Oct 16, 2017

IMPORTANT UPDATE:  March 13, 2018 — Washington Court of Appeals, Division 2, issues its Published Opinion in Emerald Enterprises v Clark County that affirms County’s authority to enact a zoning ordinance banning retail sale of marijuana in the unincorporated areas.  Read the Published Opinion and the Washington Attorney General Opinion #2 here:  Emerald Enterprises v Clark County     2014 – AGO #2 – re Local Marijuana Regulations

There have been three proposed Marijuana operations in the greater Maple Valley unincorporated area: 200th Ave SE east of the City of Maple Valley, SE 186st St near Lake Francis (since withdrawn due to Home Owners’ Association rules) and 269th Ave SE in Hobart. Although each proposal is unique, each have drawn intense scrutiny from neighbors who have implored the Area Council to study the issues related to zoning, permitting, and operation. The Area Council has hosted several standing-room-only meetings with interested citizens and King County officials to better understand residents’ concerns and King County policies.

The Area Council has proposed changes to County Zoning Code to disallow such operations in the Rural Area, as it is ill-equipped to handle Public safety concerns (both Police and Fire), Traffic-related issues (both frequency and size of loading and delivery trucks), and attendant noise (see Marijuana Business Zoning).

On July 25, 2016 the King County Council voted to: (1) Remove all parcels under 10 acres and designated as Rural Area (RA) zones from use in the production (growth), processing, and retail sale of marijuana; (2) Approve studies on potential retail and processing in specific locations; and (3) Require the County Executive to identify 10 locations suitable for retail in Neighborhood Business (NB) zoned areas across unincorporated King County.


View the “Cloudbud” report here.

The entire Hearing Examiner file regarding the appeal of this matter can be found at