The city of Seattle has sent letters to hundreds of medical marijuana businesses conducting “major marijuana activity”(more than 45 plants or 72 ounces of marijuana) warning that if they don’t obtain a state license by July 2015, they must either downsize or shut down operations.
“Businesses that have been conducting major marijuana activity since before November 16,2013 have until July 1, 2015 (or January 1, 2016, depending on action by the state legislature), to either: (1) obtain a state-issued license or (2) stop conducting major marijuana activity. Any new (i.e., commencing on or after November 16, 2013) major marijuana activity in Seattle must have a state license. If you began operating after November 16, 2013 and do not have a state issued license, you are in violation of City law and can be subject to enforcement action,” stated the letter.
However, it is currently impossible for owners of medical marijuana dispensaries and growing operations to obtain the aforementioned state licensing because it does not yet exist.
Last year, the Seattle City Council voted to provide time for medical marijuana businesses that had opened prior to November 16, 2013 to obtain licenses from the Washington State Liquor Control Board. Washington state legislature has yet to create licensing for the businesses.
“I have paid more than $150,000 in taxes to the state of Washington and thousands more to the city of Seattle,” said Seattle Medical Marijuana Association owner Karl Keich.
Washington’s legislature will return to session in January 2015.