More than 75 people came to address Tacoma City Council’s meeting last night during a public hearing on what to do with medical marijuana.
Most of the speakers, including business owners and patients, testified against closing medical marijuana stores, as is proposed by a draft city ordinance.
Mayor Marilyn Strickland said the council was in support of medical marijuana businesses and how they can help patients, but some currently are not operating under any kind of legal framework. The City wants state lawmakers to reconcile the legal status of medical dispensaries and recreational pot retail stores.
Today, there around 60 medical marijuana stores operating within Tacoma city limits, and there have been more than 164 complaints about those stores, according to the mayor, as well as others that have not been identified.
Strickland said that part of why the council is considering shutting down medical marijuana dispensaries is to apply pressure on the state Legislature during this year's session.
“The Washington legislature needs to act on this and come up with some kind of legal framework for medical marijuana so the patients have certainty, the cities have certainty and the businesses have certainty,” Strickland said. “We’re also giving people 90 days to respond to this (proposed ordinance) and, coincidentally, that's about the time of a legislative session.”