WASHINGTON: Hundreds of medical marijuana businesses here face closure because they’re being told to get licenses that don’t legally exist.
Marijuana dispensaries across Seattle began receiving letters last week telling them they need to get a special state license to remain open past next year. The problem? The state hasn’t yet created those state licenses. Seattle has more than 330 medical marijuana businesses, which are less regulated than the city’s handful of licensed recreational pot shops.
The city’s letter is part of a larger effort to bring more regulation to the state’s medical marijuana marketplace. Because the city doesn’t specifically track which businesses are involved in the medical marijuana field, officials aren’t sure how many actually face closure.
“Countless patients who rely on my services will have nowhere to go if my shop is shut down,” Karl Keich, owner of Seattle Medical Marijuana Association, said in a statement. “I have paid more than $150,000 in taxes to the state of Washington and thousands more to the city of Seattle. Not only will this revenue stream be cut off if the city’s plan is implemented, it will also put nine employees out of work.”