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Seattle Votes to Establish Licensing and Regulation System for Medical Marijuana

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Seattle’s City Council voted this week to establish a system for licensing and regulating medical marijuana distribution under a new Washington state law. The city’s ordinance differs from those of other Washington cities, which have established bans and restrictions on medical marijuana cultivation facilities and dispensaries, Reuters reports.

The state law, which goes into effect Friday, allows cities to regulate and license the production, processing and distribution of medical marijuana, but on a limited basis. Medical marijuana suppliers can serve only up to 10 patients. They can only grow 45 plants in total, and no more than 15 per person.

According to the article, proponents of the Seattle ordinance say that more than 25,000 of the city’s 600,000 residents use marijuana for medical purposes. They say regulating medical marijuana will impose more order on the growing supply chain. Only about 50 of the 80 medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle have registered with the city, the article notes.

A spokesman for Mayor Mike McGinn said he will sign the ordinance. Once signed, the measure would go into effect in 30 days.

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