A medical marijuana dispensary operating without a city business license in Firdale Village has been shut down, following the Edmonds City Council’s decision last week to adopt an interim zoning moratorium on such dispensaries, according to Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan.
Police served a cease-and-desist order Monday night to Sativa Medical Group, Compaan said. Police had been unaware of Sativa until an Everett man asked City of Edmonds earlier this month for a business license to open another dispensary.
The Council on Jan. 18 voted 6-1 to adopt an interim zoning moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries until the Washington State Legislature addresses what some say are inadequate rules governing the possession and sale of the drug under the state’s medical marijuana law. The moratorium will expire in six months.
While Initiative 692, passed by citizens statewide in 1998, makes medical use of marijuana legal, it did not provide a legal way for patients to acquire the drug. As a result, patients either have to grow it themselves or have another person grow it for them for free. A third option is to purchase medical marijuana through dispensaries — essentially storefronts that provide marijuana to those who have a doctor’s note authorizing them to possess it. Such dispensaries are not allowed under state Department of Health rules, but law enforcement in some jurisdictions are tolerating their existence.
Edmonds City Attorney Scott Snyder and Police Chief Al Compaan told the council that the zoning moratorium will give the city some time to see whether the state Legislature will act to address the issue. At least two bills have been introduced in the current legislative session, Snyder said.