Safe access to medical marijuana for patients has been under attack for some time now in Washington. In May the Seattle City Council proposed a measure that would shut down most of the medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle. Yesterday the Seattle City Council voted, and the result was not favorable for medical marijuana dispensary operators in Washington’s largest city. Per The Joint Blog:
A 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.
Those that opened prior to 2013, and who are in good standing, will be allowed to remain open if they receive a license from the state Liquor Control Board (soon to be renamed the Liquor and Cannabis Board).
I’m curious to see how many dispensaries close, and how many stay open and fight. Although, resistance may be futile considering how hell bent Seattle and King County are on shutting most of these establishments down. I don’t see dispensaries getting around getting a license, but I really wish there was the opportunity for all Seattle dispensaries to pursue one. Telling dispensaries that they have to close, and have no option to pursue a license, is going to hurt a lot of patients who frequent those establishments. The free market should determine how many dispensaries there are in Seattle, not politicians.