Seattle City Council Unanimously Passes Measure to Shutdown Most Dispensaries

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 theLiquor and Cannabis Board).

“This will give the city more authority than in the past to regulate,” says Councilmember Nick Licata, a supporter of the bill.

The vote comes just days after King County’s Sheriff and Prosecutor announced that they’re calling for the immediate closure of all medical cannabis dispensaries in unincorporated King County.