It'll be another six months before the Richland City Council considers allowing marijuana gardens for medical purposes in the city.
The council voted unanimously Tuesday, without Councilman Robert Thompson present, to extend the moratorium until December on the recommendation of city attorney Tom Lampson.
The council chose last July to put a moratorium on deciding a medical marijuana garden policy. Action was needed because a new state law took effect that would allow authorized medical marijuana patients to grow plants in collective gardens.
Lampson said the city is in the middle of a difficult situation because the Legislature is undecided about medical marijuana gardens and possession of marijuana for any reason still is a federal offense.
"There's enough stuff up in the air so it seemed prudent to wait," Lampson told the council.
Washington's medical marijuana law allows collective gardens with up to 45 plants for three patients. It also allows cities to impose moratoriums so issues involving zoning, taxation, licensing and potential criminal conduct associated with marijuana can be sorted out.
The moratorium also will carry past the November election, when several marijuana initiatives will be on the ballot, he added.
Councilman Dave Rose said he was inclined not to have the council put off a decision, but Lampson's explanation persuaded him to go along with extending the moratorium.