Superior Court in Favor of Kittitas

Kittitas County – On December 22, 2017, the Superior Court of Washington State ruled in favor of Kittitas County in the case pertaining to the issuing of marijuana business licenses that ignored the zoning laws implemented at the local level.

Kittitas County brought forth a lawsuit against the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) because of their issuance of state marijuana licenses in areas that local zoning codes did not allow such activity. The judge in the superior court case ruled in Kittitas County’s favor as it found that WSLCB does have an obligation under the Growth Management Act (GMA) to comply with the local zoning regulations when approving these licenses. The Superior Court went on to say in the ruling that when the WSLCB issues licenses that do not comply with local zoning regulations these licenses are arbitrary and capricious.

The ruling states that local control is the determining factor in siting marijuana businesses and the state’s liquor & cannabis board should adhere to such regulations. Kittitas County and the Washington State Association of Counties consider the ruling a huge victory for Washington’s Counties and Cities. The WSLCB was ignoring the local zoning requirements of the GMA.

Therefore, the court has considered it a GMA violation and that Kittitas County was indeed in compliance with state law. The court found that by ignoring local land use regulation in its permit review process, the WSLCB was acting outsides the bounds of its statutory authority.

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Paige graduated from Western Washington majoring Political Science and Communications. She also holds a Masters in Public Administration from Seattle University. Early in her career, Paige ran a campaign in Snohomish County before serving as a Legislative Assistant at the Washington House of Representatives. As the External Communications Manager for WSAC, she manages all the organization's publications and social media.