Local Recreational Marijuana Laws in Washington State

In 2012, Washington state voters supported decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana for personal, adult, recreational use, and also established a statewide regulatory framework for marijuana businesses (Initiative 502, now codified under RCW 69.50). 

Washington’s regulatory system is delegated to the state Liquor Control Board, with local cities and counties retaining typical police powers, such as zoning. As legalization of recreational marijuana continues, local governments will be faced with zoning and other regulatory choices that may impact product availability, preventing access by youth, consumption rates, advertising parameters, taxation and licensing, enforcement of smoking or public use bans, and other local responsibilities.  

This dataset includes more than 100 components of ordinances that govern the zoning and siting for businesses that produce, process and sell recreational marijuana, as well as regulations governing individual access to the products. The ordinances presented here went into effect by mid-2014 in 141 cities with a population of 3,000 or more and all 39 counties in Washington.  A separate dataset was collected for medical marijuana ordinances.

King County will update these dataets annually, based on available resources.


View and download an analysis of city and county response to marijuana legalization

View and download underlying policy data in Excel format

View and download Recreational Marijuana Research Protocol

View and download Recreational Marijuana Codebook 


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