Seattle medical marijuana businesses may not be able to get local licenses after all, as a plan to offer permits could fall through due to legal issues and resistance from recreational store owners.
Mayor Ed Murray had hoped to set up a licensing system and specific rules for medical marijuana companies, which currently operate in an unregulated environment due to the lack of statewide rules on the MMJ industry.
But the mayor”s office said it will back off the plan and move in a different direction, though officials did not elaborate, according to Seattle Weekly.
State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles has questioned whether the city even has the authority to issue licenses, as Washington’s medical marijuana law was drafted at the state level.
Also, some adult-use shops have complained that a rule allowing dispensaries within 500 feet of places where children gather, rather than the 1,000 feet recreational shops must allow, gives medical businesses an unfair advantage.
A city council committee reportedly is looking at the mayor’s plan, Seattle Weekly reported.
Still, the city may make temporary rules that would at least protect Seattle dispensaries from prosecution by local authorities.
A spokesman for the mayor said any plan will act as a patch until the state comes up with an answer for dispensary owners who are living in limbo