Marijuana Legalization: Seattle Pot Shops in Standoff Over Shutdown

Mike TuttleLife

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Whenever marijuana is legalized in any form, anywhere, there is a bit of red tape that has to be handled. Heretofore, there were no forms, staffing, website sections, and other such trappings to handle the subject. Now a bureaucracy has to be created.

When Seattle legalized medical marijuana, they ran into just such an issue. Shops were opening, but those shops needed to be licensed by the state. The trouble was, there was no procedure for obtaining a license from the state.

So Seattle came up with a compromise: allow all shops that were opened before November 16, 2013, to continue to operate without trouble until the licensing issues could be resolved. But other businesses presumed the issues would be fixed soon, so they set up shop anyway. Now those businesses face some real problems, because the state of Washington has not gotten that issue fixed.

So some businesses are now getting letters informing them that they could be in violation of the law.

“If you began operating after Nov. 16, 2013 and do not have a state issued license,” the letters inform them, "you are in violation of city law and can be subject to enforcement action.”

These shops are hoping that the state will understand that the burden lies with the State Legislature and go easy on them until everything is fixed.

“We’re urging the Legislature to adopt a legal framework that can allow the two programs — adult use and medical — to exist side-by-side,” said Kris Hermes, a spokesman for Americans for Safe Access. “In the meantime, the city of Seattle should back off its stringent stance on requiring medical-marijuana businesses to obtain a license that doesn’t yet exist.”

Mike Tuttle

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Google+ Writer for WebProNews.