Washington News

SEATTLE -- Medical cannabis dispensaries in Seattle may get a year and half reprieve before they face the decision to obtain a state license or shut down.

Seattle City Council members heard from medical cannabis insiders in a public hearing Wednesday and proposed an extension to the current regulation, which requires a state license by January 1.

Currently, the industry operates under virtually non-existent regulation. State legislators tried last session, but the bill combining recreational and medical pot under the Liquor Control Board was voted down.

There was tough resistance from the medical marijuana business community, which doesn’t see itself as a similar industry to 502.

“Be very cautious when working with the Liquor Control Board," Stephanie Viskovich told council.

Viskovich owns Delta 9 in Wallingford. She promotes a variety of strains and treatment options for people she calls patients, not customers.

"From one person to the next, individual symptoms and treatments can vary immensely," Viskovich said.

Take A-Train, for example. It’s the high CBD content cannabis that Visokovich is using to treat Adam Young's mom.

"Food didn't taste good. She couldn't eat. It was just going in a bad direction," Young said.

Her cancer treatment got better, Young says, thanks to pot.

That's why Viskovich has so many strains of cannabis, edibles, and topicals. But it's also why she's so nervous and why she spoke to city council members about her aversion to regulation by the Liquor Control Board.

“I highly suggest looking to the Department of Health, somebody who already has a system in place for patient wellness,” she said.

Viskovich and other medical marijuana insiders want to answer to the Department of Health.
Councilman Nick Licata just wants the state to do something.

“If they don’t do anything next session, then Seattle’s going to be in a really awkward position,” Licata said.

Licata is proposing a year extension for Seattle dispensaries to obtain a state license, giving them until January 2016.