Under a new Washington state law that will be enforced later this week, the City Council voted on Monday to institute a municipal licensing and regulation system for the distribution of medical marijuana in Seattle.
The regulation that is contradictory to a sequence of new restrictions and prohibitions inflicted by other municipalities around the state on medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities is said to be signed and approved by the Mayor of Seattle Mike McGinn.
Washington’s largest city is Seattle. Governor Christine Gregoire permitted cities to regulate and license the production, processing, and distribution of medical marijuana on a limited basis by signing a new measure in to law; following this, the 8-0 vote favoring the measure took effect nearly after three months.
According to the bill, which is due to take effect on Friday, storefront dispensaries and other medical pot dealers are required to restructure themselves as small, cooperative enterprises catering to approximately 10 patients. These “collective gardens” are limited to cultivating 45 plants in total not exceeding more than 15 per person.
A recent increase in storefront dispensaries, which were neither explicitly banned nor permitted under a 1988 voter-approved scheme legalizing pot for medicinal purposes, caused the approval of the state law.
Any provisions that would have established a license for the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana at the state level were vetoed by Gregoire.
According to the National Drug Policy Alliance, 15 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana as a treatment for various medical conditions albeit cannabis is still listed as an illegal narcotic under federal law.
Amongst the 600,000 residents of the city, over 25,000 employ cannabis for medical reasons. Seattle officials backing the proposed city regulation argue that the ordinance will effectively regulate to the upcoming supply chain.
Seattle Councilwoman Sally Clark said, “We’re saying, ‘You’re already here, now we need to regulate you.'”
Medical marijuana businesses are required to conform to city codes that oversee everything from plumbing to public nuisance complaints, according to the proposed regulation.
Clark said that although Seattle has given rise to around 80 medical marijuana dispensaries, only about 50 of them have registered with the city.
The mayor will probably sign the regulation on Tuesday, and the measure will take effect in 30 days as declared by a spokesman for McGinn.