It was only a matter of time before a lawsuit came about after Seattle’s Liquor and Cannabis Board sent out 14 day notices to long-standing medical marijuana shops around the city. New laws will put a cap on the number of dispensaries in the city, leaving them with two choices – relocate or apply for a license and pray they are one of the lucky ones.
While many of the businesses that were able to likely got the heck-outta-dodge as quick as they could, others are not so fortunate. Those who were left with no choice but to apply for a license were promised that while there was no guarantee for a license that dispensaries which were established the longest ago and had the a good track record for paying taxes and fees would be taken into consideration first.
Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the way it’s working now that shops are being approved for licenses. According to the lawsuit the Liquor and Cannabis Board are not following their own rules when licensing – choosing businesses which have been around for less than six months over those which have been around for almost six years.
These new businesses are referred to as “cobbled” or “Frankenstein” businesses – compiled of industry workers with a collective of experience and entrepreneurs. It appears that many of these types of businesses are being licensed while those who have been faithfully following the law and have worked in the industry from the get-go are being left high and dry.
“The entire process is a mess,” Davis said in a statement. “I am watching phantom entities gobble up scarce licenses that will put real people out of business.”
Though the original number of these coveted licenses has jumped from 21 to 42 it will still not be enough to cover the 48 businesses who qualify under the qualifications for previous shops looking to be licensed. Right now, it seems a number of these shops will not be able to continue to have their doors open.
If this lawsuit is won, will the licenses that have already been awarded be revoked? Will there be a new screening of applicants – following the rules that they set forth in the first place? It’s sad to think that so many dispensary owners could be out of business because they were not able to obtain a license after years of complying with state laws.