It’s sad times for safe access in Washington State. After the passage of Senate Bill 5052, more and more medical marijuana dispensaries are getting letters demanding that they cease operations. The latest round of letters have been going out this month in Tacoma, Washington where the city is demanding that almost all of the medical marijuana dispensaries in city limits close down. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
The Tacoma City Council made the decision this week to shut down most of the area’s 60-plus unregulated dispensaries, with officials expressing concern about the proliferation of such businesses, according to the News Tribune.
The council previously planned to crack down on dispensaries but delayed action against them to see how the state would decide to handle medical marijuana businesses now that recreational cannabis is legal. The state ended up passing a bill in April that effectively will kill Washington’s MMJ program by rolling it into its heavily regulated recreational market.
Under that law, dispensaries and collective gardens will be required to get licenses from the state by July 1, 2016, or shut their doors.
The medical marijuana dispensaries have 45 days from when the letter was sent to close down shop, or else. Washington State is trying very hard to push these dispensaries into the recreational system. All the while patients suffer and are having a harder and harder time accessing medicine at an affordable price. I have to assume that once recreational stores open in Oregon, where prices are expected to be half of what they are at Washington recreational stores, that more and more patients will be driving down to Oregon so that they can afford to buy meds.