Since there is no way that Seattle's 200+ medical marijuana businesses can be in compliance with the City's zoning ordinance, the Council is now considering extending the deadline believing, again, that the state legislature will adopt a medical marijuana licensing system during their next session. While originally considering extending the deadline to July 1, 2015, during Wednesday's public hearing about the extension Councilmember Nick Licata indicated that they will move the deadline to January 1, 2016. He recognized that the state would need time to establish rules if the legislature passes a licensing bill.
Before the public hearing started, Councilmember Tim Burgess asked about the legality of the 67 medical marijuana businesses that opened after the ordinance was adopted. Licata confirmed that these businesses are illegal. The Department of Planning and Development enforces the ordinance based on complaints they receive. To date, about 12 complaints were received, mostly about marijuana growing.
The Finance and Culture Committee will review the proposed changes to the ordinance during their meeting on August 13.