Seattle to Shutter Dozens of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

With Washington state overhauling its medical marijuana law, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says the city is planning to shutter dozens of dispensaries.

Murray on Tuesday announced plans to require a new special business license for marijuana establishments, akin to those required for taxi operators and pawn shops. Under the mayor’s plan, the businesses will be required to obtain the licenses by July 2016.

But just as the state’s new medical marijuana law gives priority in licensing to dispensaries that were in operation before Jan. 1, 2013, so does Murray’s proposal. Seattle officials say that by their tally, 54 of the city’s 99 medical marijuana storefronts opened after that date or have been operating without a city business license.

Murray’s office says those businesses won’t be getting the special license and need to shut down. The rest will be allowed to remain open long enough to see if they wind up being permitted by the state.

“It is time to ensure that everyone plays by the same rules,” Murray said. “We’re strengthening the recreational marijuana market and creating safer, more consistent access for those who rely on medicinal products.”

– Read the entire article at KOMO News.

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