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Marijuana Regulations

This first part of the web page provides the status of the City's consideration for amending the marijuana regulations in 2017.


Marijuana Regulations Amended

The City Council adopted the Marijuana Use Buffers Code Amendment, as recommended by the Planning Commission, on November 7, 2017, after holding a public hearing on October 24.   

  • Ordinance No. 28462 adopting Marijuana Use Buffers Code Amendment (November 7, 2017)
  • City Council Public Hearing Notice (for October 24, 2017)
  • Planning Commission Recommendation

    The Planning Commission has completed its review, including holding a public hearing on September 6, 2017, and formulated its recommendation to the City Council on September 20, 2017. 

  • Planning Commission Recommendation Packet (September 20, 2017)  
  • Public Hearing Notice (for September 6, 2017)
  • Public Review Packet including Hearing Notice (August 21, 2017)
  • Project Background

    On June 6, 2017, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 39742, requesting the Planning Commission to consider amending the Tacoma Municipal Code, Section 13.06.565, relating to the zoning of marijuana uses, on an interim basis, by adding local definitions of "Playground" and "Recreation center or facility", in order to protect Metro Parks Tacoma-owned playgrounds and recreation centers and facilities to the level intended by the state, but currently not covered by state definitions.


    The following three Planning Commission (PC) review packets best describe the background and status of the issue:

  • Marijuana PC Review Packet (July 19, 2017)
  • Marijuana PC Presentation (June 21, 2017)
  • Marijuana PC Review packet (June 21, 2017)  

    The following part of the web page documents the City's efforts during 2013-2016 in developing the marijuana regulations in response to I-502.


    Marijuana Regulations Adopted 

    The City Council adopted Amended Ordinance No. 28361 on May 24, 2016, modifying the City's land use and nuisance codes concerning marijuana uses and terminating the temporary moratorium on marijuana uses enacted in January 2016.  The legislation, effective on June 5, 2016, builds upon the recommendations from both the Planning Commission and Planning staff.  Major land use regulatory provisions as set forth in the legislation include:

    • Cap on Retail Stores: 16.
    • Buffers from Sensitive Uses: 1,000-ft from schools and playgrounds; 100-ft from transit centers; 500-ft from all other sensitive uses within Downtown Tacoma; and 1,000-ft from all other sensitive uses outside of Downtown Tacoma.
    • Dispersion between Retail Stores: Not required.
    • Medical Endorsement: 100% of retail stores required to have state medical endorsement.
    • Medical Cooperatives: Allow cooperatives, with state buffers, i.e., 1-mile from retailers and 1,000-ft from all sensitive uses.

    Please visit the City's updated Marijuana Map to view locations that comply with the zoning requirements. It should be noted the sensitive uses outlined in the map are based off of the best information available. While the City believes the map to be accurate, it is ultimately up to the applicant to confirm that a property is outside of local and State sensitive buffers. 


    City Council's Deliberations 

    The City Council conducted a study session on April 26, 2016, and a public hearing on the same night, on the Marijuana Land Use Code and Nuisance Code Amendments, as recommended by the Planning Commission and as recommended by staff.  The Council conducted a follow-up study session on May 3, and conducted the first and final readings of adopting ordinance on May 10 and 24, respectively. 

  • City Council Public Hearing Presentation (April 26, 2016)
  • City Council Public Hearing Handout (April 26, 2016)
  • City Council Study Session Presentation (April 26, 2016)
  • City Council Study Session Handout (April 26, 2016)
  • Proposed Land Use Code Amendments (as recommended by the Commission)
  • Proposed Nuisance Code Amendments

    Planning Commission's Recommendation  

    The Planning Commission reviewed and deliberated potential amendments to the marijuana regulations during January-April 2016, conducted a public hearing on March 2, and made a recommendation to the City Council on April 6.  See relevant documents posted below:

  • Planning Commission Recommendation Packet (April 6, 2016)  
  • Planning Commission Public Hearing Notice (March 2, 2016)  
  • Marijuana Public Review Document (for PC Hearing March 2, 2016)

    Tacoma City Council Places Temporary Moratorium on Allowing Retail Recreational and/or Medical Marijuana Businesses 

    On January 12, 2016, the City Council adopted Substitute Ordinance 28343 enacting a temporary moratorium on new marijuana retail uses and establishment of marijuana cooperatives for a period of six months or until earlier terminated if the City's marijuana-related regulations are updated. For further information, please contact the staff identified at the bottom on this page. 


    Ordinance 28343 (PDF)  


    Tacoma City Council Adopts Recreational Marijuana Regulations

    On February 17, 2015 the City Council adopted Ordinance 28281 updating the City’s Recreational Marijuana Regulations, and replacing the interim provisions with permanent ones. The changes are effective March 2, 2015. The Council also signaled that the City will track the ongoing discussions at the state level and take appropriate action to address any legislative changes. Ordinance 28281 and an updated preliminary recreational marijuana zoning map are available below: Ordinance 28281 (PDF)
    Interactive Recreational Marijuana Map

    Council to Review Commission's Recommendations

    The City Council will conduct a public hearing on February 3, 2015 concerning the Planning Commission's recommendations (formulated on January 7, 2015) on the proposed Recreational Marijuana Permanent Regulations. City Council Public Hearing Notice - Marijuana Regulations (February 3, 2015) 
    Planning Commission Recommendations - Marijuana Regulations (January 7, 2015)

    Planning Commission (PC) Public Hearing

    The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on the proposed Recreational Marijuana Permanent Regulations on December 3, 2014.  Posted below are relevant materials compiled prior to, during, and immediately after the public hearing:

    Marijuana PC Review Packet (January 7, 2015)
    Marijuana PC Presentation (December 17, 2014) 
    Marijuana PC Review Packet post-Hearing (December 17, 2014) 
    Summary of Oral Testimony (received on December 3, 2014) 
    Compilation of Written Comments (received through December 5, 2014)
    Marijuana PC Presentation at Public Hearing (December 3, 2014)
    Marijuana PC Review Packet for Public Hearing (December 3, 2014)
    Marijuana Regulations - Public Hearing Notice (December 3, 2014)
    Marijuana Regulations - Public Review Document (November 20, 2014) 
    Marijuana Regulations - DNS and SEPA Checklist (November 20, 2014) 

    Planning Commission (PC) Review Process and Key Documents

    Per City Council's request on September 30, 2014 the Planning Commission is developing permanent land use regulations for the production, processing, and retailing uses of recreational marijuana, based upon the current interim regulations that are effective through May 16, 2015.  Posted below are materials reviewed by the Commission:

    Marijuana PC Presentation (November 19, 2014) 
    Marijuana PC Review Packet (November 19, 2014)
    Marijuana PC Presentation (November 5, 2014) 
    Marijuana PC Review Packet (November 5, 2014) Marijuana PC Presentation (October 15, 2014)  
    Marijuana PC Review Packet (October 15, 2014) 
    Marijuana Regulations Tentative Schedule (October 1, 2014)  

    Background Information

    In response to the voter approved Initiative 502 the City Council enacted the Recreational Marijuana Interim Regulations on November 5, 2013, effective for one year, from November 17, 2013 to November 16, 2014.  The City Council extended the interim regulations on September 30, 2014, for six months, from November 17, 2014 to May 16, 2015.  Posted below are the two relevant ordinances adopted by the City Council as well as a link to the webpage of "Recreational Marijuana Interim Regulations" which contains more background information: Recreational Marijuana Interim Regulations
    Ordinance No. 28250 Extending Interim Regulations - September 30, 2014

    Substitute Ordinance No. 28182 Enacting Interim Regulations - November 5, 2013 

    Staff Contact

    Tacoma Permits Customer Service

    (253) 591-5030