|Steve Elliott ~alapoet~|
Of Seattle’s 105 medical marijuana dispensaries, almost two-thirds — 68 — have business licenses, according to a report in alternative weekly The Stranger.
“We only have 68 dispensaries currently licensed in our system,” said Denise Movius, a spokeswoman for Seattle’s business licensing division, reports Q13 Fox News Online. “We’ve gotten the names of the rest by reading The Stranger and other advertisements.”
The business licensing division has been contacting the out-of-compliance shops to remind them they need the $90 business licenses.
“Most have been very responsive to us,” Movius said. “We haven’t had to take action to shut anyone down.”
The Seattle City Council in July passed a pioneering ordinance creating a regulatory framework for Seattle’s medical marijuana collectives. The law was passed in response to a failure of leadership at the state level when Governor Christine Gregoire vetoed most of SB 5073, a bill that would have legalized dispensaries in the state.
The ordinance allows Seattle to tax and regulate marijuana dispensaries like any other businesses.
The city said it had received “at least seven” complaints about dispensaries in recent months, according to Cienna Madrid’s report in The Stranger. The complaints were investigated by the Department of Planning and Development.
“The general complaint is that the businesses are operating illegally but about half of the sites had no violations,” said Bryan Stevens, a DPD spokesman. He added that sometimes small businesses are unaware of the licensing rules.