Seattle: City to Introduce Plan for Shutting Down Medical Cannabis Dispensaries
Seattle city officials held a private meeting recently where they presented a tentative resolution that will soon be presented to the City Council that would separate medical cannabis establishments into tiers, with the goal of shutting many down in the coming months.
Under this proposal – which is designed in response to the passage of Senate Bill 5052 – the first tier would include those distributing medical cannabis to patients under 21 (which is now illegal), and those with a business license obtained after January 1st, 2013. The second tier would consist of outlets that have delivery services, and those that allow medical cannabis consumption on-site. The third tier would consist of outlets that distribute cannabis that has not undergone microbial or potency testing, and those located within 500 feet of another licensed or unlicensed cannabis establishment, playground, public recreation center or a park, or within 1,000 feet of a school.
Under this plan, outlets in the first tier would receive a letter, likely within 1-2 months, demanding they cease operations, with those in tier two and three likely receiving a letter shortly after. Outlets that don’t fall into these tiers would be given the opportunity to continue operating until the July 1st, 2016 deadline established by SB 5052.
Senate Bill 5052, signed by Governor Jay Inslee in April, specifically allows the state’s Liquor Control Board to conduct sting operations on collective gardens to determine if they’re allowing those under 21 to participate.
The resolution is planned to be introduced to the Council later this month. A public forum is being planned for late-May/early-June to discuss the new state of cannabis in Washington (and how it relates to local enforcement).
[Update: A source from within city hall has clarified to us that the resolution is being put forth by city officials, and not solely City Attorney Pete Holmes; the article has been updated to reflect this.]