July 11, 2011

Seattle Set To License And Regulate Medical Marijuana Co-Operatives

July 11, 2011
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Trippy Seattle Skyline The Seattle City Council is set to regulate and issue business licenses for medical cannabis facilities, according to seattlepi.com.

The Seattle City Council will consider whether to require that medical-marijuana operations get a city business license and comply with city land-use, fire-safety and other rules. The Housing, Human Services, Health, and Culture committee is scheduled to take up the issue at a meeting on Wednesday.

Earlier this year the state Legislature passed a medical marijuana bill, but Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed most of it. The governor said she worried the legislation put state workers at risk of federal prosecution.

It’s not clear if they’ll be known as dispensaries, co-operatives or associations of collective gardens, but maybe that just doesn’t matter since the City is taking a huge step in ensuring safe access for medical cannabis patients both in Seattle and in Washington State.

Washington State MarijuanaYou can read Council’s proposed ordinance here. The first step for the ordinance is to be heard by City Council’s Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee on Wednesday, July 13th at 2 p.m. at City Hall. If the committee approves the ordinance, it will then go to the full City Council for a vote soon after.

In addition to business licenses, the City would also require that facilities not be within 1,000 feet of a school and that the co-operatives–let’s use that term for now–comply with land use codes and pay taxes as assessed by the City.

Over the next several months, Seattle will consider further regulation, including possible zoning restrictions that could channel collective gardens – particularly larger-scale, multigarden operations – into commercial or industrial zones, Clark said. Staff was researching current zoning rules for gardens, farms and pharmacies to see where medical-marijuana operations would fit.



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