Medical marijuana measure passed to Seattle City Council

Jul 13, 2011

The city of Seattle is getting closer to regulating medical pot dispensaries.

The Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee of the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a measure that would require the marijuana shops to comply with city building codes, zoning ordinances and fair employment laws.

It's the opposite approach of some other cities, which have banned the dispensaries outright.

In testimony before the Committee, some medical marijuana business owners praised the council for taking action. John Davis runs the Northwest Patient Resource Center in West Seattle. He said he does more than provide a community service. 

"We employ three Seattle citizens. We happily pay our taxes. We provide revenue to the city of Seattle. We work with our local community watch group," he said.

The council acknowledges regulating medical marijuana dispensaries is tricky.  The city is trying to walk the fine line between the federal government's prohibition of marijuana and the state's murky rules regarding the dispensaries. 

One city staffer told the Committee regulating medical pot shops is a little like a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.  The full city council will consider the measure on Monday.