Over 50 Dispensaries Close in Seattle Since September

Over 50 medical cannabis dispensaries have closed voluntarily in Seattle after the city imposed new regulations on the businesses in August.

The city’s Finance and Administrative Services sent letters out to 120 medical dispensaries informing them of Seattle’s new regulations, which include paying required taxes, possessing a Seattle business license before 2013, and applying to the state cannabis board for a license. 56 have now closed.

“We’re trying to get you to be in compliance and if you can’t get on the legal path, you just need to close,” said Finance and Administrative Services director of enforcement William Edwards.

The city has also filed criminal complaints against three of the dispensaries. The maximum penalty is 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

“If we have to, which the city is not interested in, to move towards a criminal complaint,” said Edwards.

The remaining dispensaries still open are applying to be licensed by state officials.