The city of Seattle embraces pot tourism and wants state regulators to consider allowing private clubs for visitors to consume marijuana in, according to a letter sent to state regulators by City Attorney Pete Holmes.
Mayor Mike McGinn supports the letter. City Council President Sally Clark said the council has not formally approved it. “That’s not to say anybody wouldn’t be on board with it,” Clark said. “But I haven’t had enough involvement with the detail yet to know if I’d want to sign on to the letter.”
The letter from Holmes, a sponsor of the state’s new adult recreational pot law, was sent Monday, the last day for comments on the state’s initial draft rules for a legal seed-to-store system.
It also asked the state Liquor Control Board to allow outdoor growing — which would likely occur east of the Cascades — and study the possibility of allowing delivery services.
As for private clubs, the new pot law does not allow consumption “in view of the general public.” Other state laws allow landlords to bar tenants from smoking, and they prohibit tourists from lighting up in bars, restaurants and most hotel rooms. “For renters and tourists, allowing marijuana use in certain types of establishments other than private residents (sic) may be the only mechanism to enjoy marijuana.”
“This is both a race & social justice and an economic development issue,” the letter continued. “Renters and tourists should not be forced to use marijuana in parks or sidewalks.”
A spokesman for the liquor board, which is charged with creating rules for the new system, said private clubs and delivery services have not been viewed favorably in staff discussions. But he noted that the appointed board members have final say on decisions.
There are two apparent ways for tourists to work around existing rules when state-regulated stores open next year. They could buy and consume pot-infused edibles or liquids. Or, they could vaporize their pot using devices that heat marijuana and release key chemicals without igniting dried plant matter. Instead of creating smoke, users inhale vapors.