Seattle Could Close Some Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

WASHINGTON:  With Washington state overhauling its medical marijuana law, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says the city is planning to shutter dozens of dispensaries.

Murray on Tuesday announced plans to require a new special business license for marijuana establishments, akin to those required for taxi operators and pawn shops. Under the mayor’s plan the businesses will be required to obtain the licenses by July 2016.

Murray said he hopes the new legislation will prevent pot sales to minors and also prevent abuse of the medical marijuana products.

The Mayor estimates about half of the city’s currently unregulated marijuana establishments could be forced to close, under his new regulations.

Mayors Office Releases Draft Of Proposed Medical Cannabis Ordinance

WASHINGTON:  After extensive conversations with medical marijuana dispensaries, patient advocates, health care providers and community interests, Mayor Ed Murray’s Office of Policy and Innovation has drafted a proposed ordinance that would govern the production and sale of medical marijuana products in the City of Seattle.

“We want to strike the balance of protecting patients, ensuring access to medical marijuana and responding to concerns about the location and density of dispensaries,” said Murray. “We know the state legislature will be considering bills this session, but in the absence of a state framework, Seattle must act.”

The state Liquor Control Board (LCB) regulates the production and sale of recreational marijuana, but there are not similar regulations for medical marijuana. Even if the legislature addresses the disparity in the 2015 legislative session, a new system regulating medical marijuana is unlikely to be in place until 2016.

Councilmember Nick Licata, who spoke at last week’s Medical Marijuana Symposium added, “I look forward to reviewing the Mayor’s proposed ordinance and working with patients, industry representatives, and community members to pass legislation that addresses concerns being addressed to my office.”