Prosecutor, Sheriff, State Official insist local medical marijuana shops are ‘illegal’


NOTE: This post was updated at 2:15 p.m. on July 9, 2015:

From left, Sheriff John Urquhart, Dan Satterberg, and Russ Hauge of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

From left, Sheriff John Urquhart, Dan Satterberg, and Russ Hauge of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, outside the KCSO Storefront in White Center on July 8. 2015. Photo courtesy King County Prosecutor’s Office.

On Wednesday morning (July 8), King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, along with Sheriff John Urquhart and Russ Hauge of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced an initiative to close 15 unlicensed marijuana stores in unincorporated King County, including White Center.

The news conference was held outside the KCSO Storefront on 16th Ave SW, near where there is one new state-licensed store operating alongside six unlicensed stores in the vicinity.

The gist of the event – which was rather contentious – was that numerous White Center-area medical marijuana outlets are now considered “illegal,” and are being told that they must shut down. These businesses were apparently alerted to this by a letter sent out earlier this week (see below).

“Unlicensed stores are undermining the extraordinary new law in our state,” Satterberg said. “If stores do not have a license they will have to shut down. It’s not fair to those who have played by the rules.”

This recent change comes after Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill in April that overhauls the state’s medical marijuana laws, and combines the two legal markets into one. Medical marijuana dispensaries – like the local ones mentioned by officials – will either be forced to close, or seek licenses in the regulated cannabis industry.

No exact deadline was given for the stores to close, but the letter states:

“You will need to cease operations now, even if you plan on applying in the future for a state license.”

The White Center area stores listed by officials include the following (in alphabetical order):

  • Herbal Market: 10422 16th SW
  • Herban Legends: 9619 16th SW
  • Northwest Cannabis Market: 9640 16th SW
  • Pacific Coast Natural Medicine: 9817 16th SW
  • WCC: 9809 16th SW
  • White Center Alternative Care: 9839 17th SW
  • WPMC: 11009 1st Ave. S.

VIDEO:
Courtesy the Northwest Cannabis Market is this video of the event:

Here’s the letter sent out by Satterberg (click image to see larger version, or click here for PDF):

270960736-King-County-Sheriff-and-Prosecutor-letter-to-medical-marijuana-storefront-collectives-1


Comments

3 Responses to “Prosecutor, Sheriff, State Official insist local medical marijuana shops are ‘illegal’”
  1. Rick Rosio says:

    The sick and suffering should have full access to this healing plant…. All places of business should pay taxes and be able to serve the public and their patients and be good community members.
    The government should provide a procedure for these business to stay open by licensing them.
    Why is this not possible?
    http://www.veteransforcompassionatecare.org

  2. dr. tony antonio says:

    Nice job protecting patient rights, Washington!

  3. Allen McKenzie says:

    For anyone interested, there will be a free Medical/Recreational Marijuana legal information clinic at the Burien library on Thurdsay 7/16 at 4:00 pm. We will be discussing the recent events, as well as the future of the industry. This is a free (pro bono) service, open to the public. All are welcome to attend.

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