Seattle City Council Unanimously Loosens Restriction on Cannabis Businesses

seattleIn a unanimous Monday vote, Seattle’s City Council gave approval to a proposal that drastically shrinks the buffer zones that separate legal cannabis businesses from locations such as public parks and schools.

Under current state law, the buffer zone between cannabis businesses and public locations such as parks is set at 1,000 feet; however, the state’s legislature last year passed a bill allowing cities to lower this to 100 feet. Seattle’s Council voted to lower the number to 250 feet in downtown Seattle, and 500 feet elsewhere.

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Seattle City Council Unanimously Passes Measure to Shutdown Most Dispensaries

Seattle-skyline-space-needleA proposal to shutdown over half of the medical cannabis dispensaries located in Seattle has been unanimously approved by the city’s council. The measure, which was put forth by Mayor Ed Murray, will go into effect 30 days after he signs it.

Under the new law, any medical cannabis dispensary that opened after January 1st, 2013, and those who are distributing medicine to those under 21 (which was made illegal with the recent passage of Senate Bill 5052), will be forced to close their doors by July of next year, without the possibility of receiving a license to continue operating. It’s expected that 59 of the city’s 99 dispensaries will be forced to close.

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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:

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Seattle City Council Unanimously Approves Medical Cannabis Extension

The Seattle City Council has unanimously approved a bill which allows medical cannabis dispensaries to continueseattle operating in the city without a state-issued licensed past the current deadline of January 1st, 2015. The proposal, introduced by Councilor Nick Licata, would allow dispensaries to continue operating in the city without a state license until either July 1st, 2015, or January 1st, 2016, depending on whether the Washington State Legislature establishes a state-wide medical cannabis system in the next session.

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Seattle Approves $27 Fine for Public Cannabis Consumption

With the passage of Initiative 502 last year in Washington State, the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis is legal for those 21 and older, while consumingMarijuana is seen in the hand of a person after the law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana went into effect in Seattle, Washington in public remains illegal. However, those doing so in Seattle will only have to pay a $27 fine if caught, under a proposal approved yesterday by the Seattle City Council; this fine is significantly less than the state-wide fine of $103.

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