Seattle to Close Dozens of Dispensaries

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The days of many Seattle dispensaries are now numbered.

The Seattle City Council has approved an ordinance that aims to shutter local medical marijuana dispensaries that opened after Jan. 1, 2013, which will result in the closure of around half of the city’s estimated 99 dispensaries by next summer, according to the Seattle Times.

The move is good news for recreational marijuana businesses that argue the state’s unregulated MMJ dispensaries have an unfair advantage because they aren’t subject to the same regulatory, financial and tax requirements.

But many reputable dispensaries that have been operating in a legal gray area will be put out of business, assuming the city enforces the new law.

Officials in Seattle and other Washington cities are looking to bring their policies in line with recent state laws that attempt to fold the unregulated medical cannabis industry into the heavily regulated recreational cannabis program.

The state is giving dispensaries and collective gardens until next summer to obtain licenses under the recreational program or shut down. Seattle’s ordinance could help the city crack down if businesses remain operating without licenses.