Marijuana Restrictions (HB 2336)
On Monday, January 8th, in the House Commerce & Gaming Committee, two bills were heard that are relevant to WSAC. One is HB 2336 sponsored by Rep. Sawyer to which we testified in opposition. This bill seeks to preempt municipal ordinances or regulations pertaining to the regulation of the production, processing, and retail sale of marijuana.
Essentially, the bill prohibits a city, town, or county (municipality) from enacting an ordinance or regulation that would preclude the siting of licensed marijuana retailers, processors, or producers within its borders unless the municipality submits a referendum to the voters or, in the alternative, it goes through the citizen initiative process. This means that a municipality would no longer be able to enact an ordinance by a simple vote of the council or commission. Requiring an ordinance to be passed by a vote of the people will cost the municipality money unnecessarily.
Marijuana Money for Indigent Defense (HB 2301)
The other bill is HB 2301 sponsored by Rep. Walsh to which we testified in support. This bill appropriates 33.3 percent of all monies in the Dedicated Marijuana Account to counties, on a pro rata basis, to be used solely for the purpose of funding legal services for indigent defendants in criminal cases.
This bill is a step in the right direction for counties. Any amount of money toward trial court indigent defense costs is greatly appreciated and will help alleviate some of the financial burden pushed upon counties.
Watch the House Commerce and Gaming Committee public hearing on January 8, 2018, @ 1:30 pm.