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Marijuana Dispensaries Concerned About Their Future

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SPOKANE -- Medical marijuana dispensary owners swarmed Spokane City Hall on Monday night asking local leaders to push for a clarification of Washington's state law.

Last week, a Spokane jury convicted defendant Scott Shupe who co-owned one of the city's first marijuana dispensaries. Shupe had argued that a broad interpretation of the law enables dispensaries to supply card-carrying patients, provided they serve just one patient at a time. But jurors decided that Washington's medical marijuana law should not be interpreted to allow for commercial dispensaries.

Now dispensaries across Spokane are concerned about their future.

"I don't think a lot of time has been taken to deal with this in Spokane County and that's why 50 or 60 have popped up in the county in the last two years," said Ryan Seeley, director of a non-profit dispensary.

"We're licensed with the city, with the state, with the federal government, we're a corporation, we're a non-profit here in the City of Spokane, we do have a business license, a nursery license, a resellers permit, we have every license a business has," added Seeley.

After a jury charged Shupe with drug trafficking, Seeley says his dispensary decided to temporarily close its doors last Thursday.

"One of the big things that have come from closing our doors is my cell phone has been exploding from these calls from people wanting to know why we're not there and what they're suppose to do," said Seeley addressing the Spokane City Council.

Almost a dozen speakers chose to address the city council on the issue Monday night. Many were medical marijuana dispensaries pushing for a clarification in the state's existing medical marijuana law, and asking local leaders for support.

"In Seattle or in King County, the government officials have shown their support and compassion for patients. We don't have that clarity here," said dispensary owner Greta Carter.

After Carter's son was diagnosed with cancer, she decided to make the $50,000 investment and open up a medical marijuana shop.

"I'm a business person from a very conservative background, that investigated this industry to the tune of a lot of money and a lot of time and energy. Before I made the decision to go forward," explained Carter who recently opened her dispensary on Division Street.

However, now the venture has been put on hold surrounding concerns with the verdict in the Shupe case.

Carter along with other medical marijuana businesses plans to continue to fight for her son and other patients needing relief.

"I'm pushing the envelope and the hope is that there are others out there, that see the advantage too," said Carter.

The Spokane City Council listened as speakers shared their concerns but did remind the public that it doesn't have the power to change state law. Right now, a bill is being considered in Olympia that would improve protections for both medical marijuana patients and suppliers.

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: kxly.com
Author: Tania Dall
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: KXLY.com
Website: Marijuana Dispensaries Concerned About Their Future
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