Eleven medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle received letters from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration yesterday, ordering them to shut down within 30 days or risk having their properties seized. Details on the Seattle dispensaries targeted by the DEA come from Kiro:
They all received letters advising them that the manufacture and distribution of a controlled substance was illegal under federal law.
U.S. law takes precedence over state law allowing the dispensing of medical marijuana. It's unclear why 11 dispensaries were singled out.
“These letters suggest that if my clients remain in business, they could lose their companies, their homes, their cars, basically every piece of property that the Feds consider an asset,” said Seattle attorney Kurt Boehl in a letter (.pdf) responding to the DEA's threats yesterday. Boehl represents three of the affected access points, including Wallingford’s Truly Helpful Collective.
“We strictly followed Washington’s Medical Marijuana Law [RCW 69.51A],” says Arasp Khoshkhoo, a dispensary owner. “We had business licenses from the City of Seattle and the State of Washington. We paid our taxes. We did everything any other legitimate business would do.”
A number of dispensaries located in California are also either under investigation by the DEA or are being pressured to close, reports SFGate.com.