Woodland council to vote on cannabis zoning law by end of year


Cannabis retail may be allowed within Woodland by the end of 2023.

Community Development Director Travis Goddard brought ordinance 1548, regarding marijuana retail sale zoning, to the Woodland City Council during its regular workshop on Nov. 20. The City Council could vote on the ordinance as soon as Dec. 4.

While the initial ordinance the council reviewed would have permitted cannabis sales in the highway district, the City Council did not support that area and instead proposed allowing the sales only in Woodland’s light industrial district. Goddard accepted that idea immediately, and the rest of the workshop was discussed in the context of using the light industrial district.

Some restrictions would apply, however, as sales cannot be conducted within buffer zones between the light industrial district and schools, parks and daycares.

“We have zoning for the processing of cannabis products in light industrial,” council member DeeAnna Holland said. “So, that would make sense that we want to package them all together in that zone.”

Allowing the sale of marijuana has been a hot topic among Woodland residents, Councilor Monte Smith said.

“I get a lot of comments against. I get a lot of comments for,” Smith said. “Trying to accommodate both, to allow it to be sold, and trying to accommodate the people who don’t want to see it, I’m gonna start leaning towards agreeing with trying to put it in the industrial area.”

Council members Carol Rounds and Terry Hall oppose allowing retail marijuana in Woodland. Both acknowledged that steps need to be taken to zone marijuana retail now, as federal legalization and new state laws may be coming in the near future.

“It’s a bad deal. We don’t need marijuana in this city,” Hall said. “The state of Washington has a house bill 1650 that’s in process, and it will come onto the floor this year. When that passes, they’re gonna cram it down our throat that we have to license it. At that point, we need to be a step ahead of it. It needs to be in the light industrial area zone.”

Bill 1650 will require voter approval for local government prohibitions on the operation and sitting of retail cannabis stores if passed.

“I would prefer it to be in light industrial also, where it’s not out for our kids that are going to school or just passing by every day to see it,” Rounds said.

On Dec. 4, the City Council will reconvene and discuss ordinance 1548 for its first reading. If passed, the council would conduct the ordinance’s second reading at its Dec. 18 meeting. If approved, it could take effect as early as Dec. 26.