Publication Date: 
Monday, April 3, 2017

In 2012, Washington state voted to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana for personal, adult, recreational use, and also created a legal regulatory framework for retail sales. (Initiative 502, now codified under RCW 69.50.) 

Subsequent state legislative changes to further regulate medical marijuana sales, as well as ongoing state regulatory and local policy actions, establish an extensive legal framework in Washington for sales, possession and use of medical and recreational marijuana.  

Washington’s regulatory system is delegated to the state Liquor and Cannabis Board, with local cities and counties retaining typical police powers, such as zoning.  

This legal map includes more than 100 components of city and county ordinances in Washington that govern the zoning and siting for businesses that produce, process and sell recreational and medical marijuana, as well as regulations governing individual access to the products. This is a longitudinal dataset displaying ordinances in effect as of January 31, 2016 and updated through September 30, 2016 in a sample of 142 of the largest cities (all with a population of 3,000 or more) and all 39 counties in Washington. The laws in this dataset cover 98 percent of the state’s population.