City Attorney Pete Holmes today announced criminal charges against eight people arrested last month for illegally selling marijuana through delivery services without the required licenses for retail marijuana sales.
The defendants are charged with engaging in marijuana business in Seattle without the marijuana business license required by Seattle Municipal Code Chapter 6.500, the City’s marijuana regulatory ordinance passed unanimously by the City Council in July 2015. The misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail.
In January 2016, Holmes and Mayor Edward Murray asked the Legislature to license and regulate legal marijuana delivery services while also warning the illegal, unlicensed marijuana delivery services in Seattle to close immediately. “The goal of I-502 was to create a legal system for producing, processing and selling marijuana to adults in Washington state,” Holmes said then. “I support our proposals to legalize and regulate marijuana delivery, but businesses that currently deliver marijuana undermine our efforts to demonstrate that there is a regulatory alternative to marijuana prohibition.”
While the Legislature did not pass Seattle’s marijuana delivery bill this year, Holmes continues to advocate for legislation legalizing and regulating marijuana delivery. Until marijuana delivery is legalized, however, Holmes is committed to supporting enforcement actions against illegal businesses that unfairly compete with the 32 licensed marijuana retailers currently operating in Seattle.
“Prohibition disproportionately impacted communities of color while doing little to address the harms caused by the illegal drug trade,” Holmes said today. “But licensed businesses that play by the rules and pay their taxes deserve protection from criminal enterprises.”