Dozens of Seattle Dispensaries Could Be Shuttered

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Medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle would need to obtain a special local business license by July 2016 or shut down under a proposal that seeks to align the city’s policies with new state regulations on the MMJ industry.

The plan – presented by the city’s mayor – would require dispensaries operating in Seattle before January 2013 to obtain a license from both the state and the city, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. Those that do not win both licenses would be forced to close.

One major caveat: Dispensaries that opened in Seattle after January 2013 would not qualify for a city license, the newspaper reported. All of those dispensaries would therefore need to cease operations, even if they won a license from the state.

The mayor estimated that roughly half of the estimated 100 dispensaries currently operating in Seattle would have to close under the plan, which still needs approval from the city council.

Washington passed a bill earlier this spring rolling the state’s medical marijuana program into its recreational cannabis market. Under those regulations, dispensaries would need to get a license under the state’s rec program by summer 2016 or close.

Several hundred unregulated cannabis dispensaries exist in the state, including an estimated 200-plus in Seattle and its suburbs.