Alison Holcomb on the City of Seattle’s proposal to regulate City Medical Marijuana Access Points

Active_Pending_Medical Seattle Map 07162014
Map by Steve Hyde. The map is from July and is not up to date
[The following email is reprinted with permission from the author, Alison Holcomb. She is responding to an invitation from the Mayor’s office to a medical marijuana stakeholder meeting on December 2 about the City of Seattle’s proposal for regulating access points in the City — ed]

Dear [City of Seattle Mayor’s Office],

Thank you for the invitation to participate in this meeting.  Unfortunately, I will be in New York next Tuesday.

I am very concerned about the Mayor’s proposal to create a special, Seattle-specific ordinance purporting to regulate medical marijuana businesses.

The Washington State Court of Appeals recently determined that medical marijuana businesses are not legal.  Cannabis Action Coalition v. City of Kent.  The state Supreme Court accepted review of the decision last month.  At a minimum, it is premature to contemplate licensing businesses deemed unlawful under state law.  Absent action by the legislature in the upcoming session (which action I believe will be taken), it is the Supreme Court, not Seattle, that should first “[c]larify laws regarding medical marijuana for all involved including patients, dispensaries, processors, and law enforcement.”

Moreover, it is redundant to expend city time and resources considering regulations for collective gardens engaged in commercial activity (producers), dispensaries (retailers), and edible and concentrate product manufacturers (processors).  Regulations for these entities already exist under state law.  If those regulations are thought inadequate or inappropriate, amendment should be sought at the state level to avoid the possibility of litigation over conflicting state and local laws.

Thank you again for the invitation.  I’m sorry I won’t be able to participate in the discussion.  Hopefully, you’ll find these remarks somewhat helpful.


Best regards,



Alison Holcomb

National Director, ACLU Campaign to End Mass Incarceration

2 thoughts on “Alison Holcomb on the City of Seattle’s proposal to regulate City Medical Marijuana Access Points

  1. That case (Cannabis Action Coalition vs Kent) is up for review in the Supreme Court and the stay preventing Kent from closing down collectives is still in place.

Comments are closed.