Yes, but only in some urban and rural zones in Snohomish County. In 1998, Washington State law legalized medical marijuana use, and over a decade later, Initiative 502, which was passed in 2012, legalized recreational marijuana use. In 2015, the lawmakers amended policies that would allow state agencies to establish a consolidated market for the cultivation and acquisition of marijuana by July 1, 2016. These agencies are the Washington State Department of Health and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.
In urban zones where marijuana cultivation and processing are permitted, the production is required to take place indoors only. However, for rural zones, both indoor and outdoor cultivation is allowed. Specific rules for rural zones apply. If marijuana cultivation is conducted indoors, it must take place 30 feet from all property lines. If outdoors, cultivation must be set 50 feet away from all property lines, must not be visible to the public, and must be fully enclosed by a fence that is over seven feet high.
Snohomish County has local responsibility in regulating marijuana-related activities for the health and safety of its residents.
Yes. Cannabis manufacturing is legal in Snohomish County. Marijuana production facilities in the county must coordinate with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) to apply for a Notice of Construction and obtain a permit before their construction and operation. Once the PSCAA has approved the permit, the permit holder will be instructed to comply with any air quality conditions.
Marijuana production facilities will also require Building and Fire review by the County, for which the unit must meet M Occupancy standards, which require life safety features, ADA-compliant facilities, and accessible bathrooms. Once the facility passes the requirements, the Fire Marshal issues a Certificate of Occupancy. Annual inspections of the property will be held to confirm building and fire code compliance.
It must also be noted that Ordinance No. 16-039 strictly prohibits all marijuana-related facilities within the boundaries of the Tulalip Indian Reservation in the county. The ordinance was effective on July 7, 2016.
Yes. The retail sale of medicinal and recreational cannabis is legal in Snohomish County. The Washington State Department of Health allows access to medicinal marijuana for patients with qualifying conditions. According to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, marijuana is illegal for residents under the age of 21.
Adults age 21 and above can legally purchase:
Statewide, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board initially set the number of retail outlets at 334, considering the safety issues and population, and discouraging illegal markets. In the recent update, the number of retail outlets were allowed to increase to 556. In Snohomish County, only 32 state-licensed marijuana retail facilities or dispensaries are allowed in unincorporated areas alone. Marijuana retail use is prohibited within 1,000 feet of the perimeter of the property of any primary or secondary school. Moreover, a marijuana retail outlet is not allowed within 2,500 feet of another state-licensed marijuana retail dispensary.
No. While cannabis use is allowed in Snohomish County, its delivery is not permitted. Washington State’s Initiative 502 indicates that the delivery of marijuana is prohibited.
The Washington State Department of Health is responsible for the release of the medical marijuana recognition card. Patients with valid authorization forms from their doctors may voluntarily join the medical marijuana authorization database and receive their medical marijuana cards. Joining the authorization database is only required for patients under the age of 18. To be eligible to hold a medical marijuana card in Snohomish County, take your authorization form to a certified medical marijuana consultant with an active credential issued by the Department of Health. The DOH-certified consultant will enter your information into the authorization database, take your picture, and produce a new medical marijuana card. When the card is created, pay a $1 fee to your medical consultant.
For more information on the application for a medical marijuana card, visit the medical marijuana page on the Washington State Department of Health website. For more details on obtaining a medical marijuana card in Snohomish County, you may contact the local health department at:
Everett (Main Office)
3020 Rucker Avenue
Everett, WA 98201
The economic contributions of cannabis legalization in Washington are strong and growing. According to a study by the Washington State University, the Washington cannabis sector contributed $1.85 billion to the economy in 2020 and supported nearly 18,700 full-time jobs since Initiative 502 was legalized. Between 2015 and 2020, retail cannabis sales in Washington grew by 605%. As for Snohomish County, its retail cannabis sales in 2015 were $17,451.82, and from there, the sales boosted to $134,134.49 in 2020. Meanwhile, cannabis excise taxes have drastically increased by 623%, from only $64.9 million in 2015 to a whopping $468.5 million in 2020.
Legalizing marijuana has had minimal to no effect on crime rates in Washington, particularly in Snohomish County. Note that the legalization of medical marijuana went into effect in 1998. However, recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012. According to the FBI crime database, DUI cases in Snohomish Police Department from 2011 to 2012 showed a decrease in the number of arrests, from 25 to 12. On the other hand, arrests of marijuana possession from 2011 to 2012 have decreased from 32 to 9.
In recent years, the Snohomish Police Department has been recording increasing DUI rates. DUI figures for the county for 2018, 2019, and 2020 were 13, 31, and 34 respectively, while arrests for marijuana possession decreased from 3, 2, and 1.