Proposed Pot Rules Revised; Buffer Zone to be Measured as Crow Flies

Sep 13, 2013

The Washington State Liquor Control Board is tightening up its proposed regulation on where marijuana businesses can be located. Stores, processors, and grow operations will have to be at least 1, 000 feet from schools, parks and daycares—not by common path of travel, but as the crow flies, the board said Friday. 

The board had considered using streets and sidewalks to measure the distance instead of a straight line on the map. But board director Rick Garza says it has become obvious that the federal government did not agree.

"They just simply made it clear that the measurement that we're using isn't the measurement they're using, and they will enforce their measurement," he said. 

Last month federal officials emphasized the need to keep pot businesses away from places where kids gather.

Garza said after consulting with the governor and two U.S. attorneys, the board decided to measure the 1,000-foot buffer “as the crow flies.” The change will put the rules in agreement with federal enforcement priorities.

The board plans to finalize its rules in November, with the first pot stores expected to open next summer.