When a new state law allowing medical marijuana collective gardens becomes active Friday, Tri-City patients still won't be able to grow cannabis together for medical use.
The Kennewick and Richland city councils unanimously passed a six-month moratorium on medical cannabis gardens within city limits Tuesday.
Pasco City Council adopted a similar resolution Monday.
The Legislature passed a law this year making changes to the voter-approved initiative that allows authorized patients to use marijuana to treat some terminal and chronic illnesses.
Among the changes is a provision allowing 10 patients to grow up to 45 plants in a single garden.
But it's still up to the cities to decide how and where they want to allow the gardens. So the law also lets cities use a moratorium as a six-month breather while they figure out how to apply zoning, taxation, business licensing and public health and safety regulations.
Kennewick City Attorney Lisa Beaton said another complication is that growing, selling or possessing marijuana remains a federal felony, and it's unclear how cities can reconcile that disconnect between state and federal law.
The cities can continue the moratoriums for six more months if more time is needed to hammer out the rules.
Richland and Kennewick officials said their respective staffs will work on a proposal that would be evaluated by the city planning commissions before final votes by the city councils.
Kennewick Councilman Don Britain asked that the legal staff and law enforcement work with Pasco, Richland and West Richland to coordinate efforts so the four cities end up with similar restrictions for medical marijuana gardens.
Beaton said they would attempt to coordinate efforts.
Kennewick's public hearing onmedical marijuana gardens will be Sept. 6. Richland's likely will be the same date. Pasco's hearing is Aug. 15.
-- Kennewick Mayor Steve Young asked city staff to look into adding American flags onto city firetrucks and police cars. He said a citizen recently pointed out that no flags were on the rigs.
Fire Marshal Mark Yaden said the city had flags on the fire engines, but they were removed several years ago
Young suggested that a decal be used. Staff were asked to bring a report to the city council in August.
-- Michelle Dupler contributed to this report.
-- Kristi Pihl: 509-582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org.