Seattle Issues Hundreds of Cease and Desist Letters to Dispensaries Ordering Them to Shut Down

The City of Seattle has issued over 300 cease and desist letters to dispensaries throughSeattle-skyline-space-needleout the city, ordering them to shut down by July 1st, 2015, unless they can obtain a license from the Washington State Liquor Control Board, despite no such license existing for medical cannabis facilities.

On Thursday last week, the city sent out letters to all businesses deemed to be engaged in “major marijuana activity”, defined as any activity involving 45 or more plants, or more than 72 ounces of cannabis. The letter reads as follows:

Major marijuana activity is prohibited in certain zones. It is also prohibited everywhere in Seattle without a license issued by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB).

Businesses that have been conducting major marijuana activity since before November 16, 2013 have until July 1, 2015 (or January 1, 2016, depending on action by the state legislature), to either: (1) obtain a state-issued license or (2) stop conducting major marijuana activity.

Any new (i.e., commencing on or after November 16,2013) major marijuana activity in Seattle must have a state license. If you began operating after November 16, 2013 and do not have a state issued license, you are in violation of City law and can be subject to enforcement action.”

The Seattle City Council voted last year to require all dispensaries to obtain a medical cannabis license from the Liquor Control Board, even though no such license exists in Washington. Council members claimed they passed such a premature restriction in anticipation of the State Legislature establishing a new regulatory system for medical cannabis in Washington – which the legislature failed to do during the last session.

After the legislature declined to establish a medical cannabis licensing system, the council unanimously voted to extend the previously-set deadline of January 1st, 2015 to the new enforcement deadline, July 1st, 2015 (or January, 2016, should the legislature create regulations during the new session next year). However, there’s no guarantee they’ll extend the deadline again if a license isn’t established, putting dispensaries and patients in a tough situation, especially considering the heated debate surrounded medical cannabis in the state’s legislature makes their action on the issue far from certain. Unless the Seattle City Council passes another extension before the closure date, or the legislature comes to a consensus that safe access points should be licensed, essentially all of the city’s dispensaries will be forced shut in the coming months.

The City of Seattle estimates (as of 2011) that at least 5% of the city-wide population, or about 25,000 people, are medical cannabis patients.

– TheJointBlog

7 thoughts on “Seattle Issues Hundreds of Cease and Desist Letters to Dispensaries Ordering Them to Shut Down”

  1. The fact that crime has increased within
    THE INDUSTRY since the decriminalization of Cannabis demonstraight cause for concern, I felt safer cultivating when it was still illegal, whats being done?
    Will people have to be lied to for another 80years before they pull their heads out?
    I have never been fooled by propaganda, we won’t start now. I have a valid medical prescription, issued by my primary care provider Dr David Abolufia MD, you may have heard of him, I thonk hes 3rd best in his fields worldwide.

  2. It is embarrassing and absurd that Seattle,of all places, would stoop to such an ignorant and blatantly greedy stance to stubbornly and maliciously punish these much needed and long overdue establishments. It is immoral and utterly unnacceptable.

  3. There’s no way the medical community will stand for this. We have fought and won our rights at the state level so fighting and winning against the city of Seattle seems all too possible. If nothing else medical patients must retain permission to produce heir own medicine and hold onto the 24 ounces medical patients our allowed to hold. We will not stand for this. I will not go from producing my medicine to spending upwards of 25$/gram on the same plant I can just grow at my house. It’s all about the money with these guys

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