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Seattle's Medical Marijuana Ordinance & Changes to WA State's Medical Marijuana Laws


Created on September 03, 2015



Now that Initiative 502 (“I-502”) is in full swing through RCW 69.50 and WAC 314-55, marijuana businesses have more legal accountability and liabilities than ever. In addition, through the passage of Senate Bill 5052, Washington State will completely change its entire medical marijuana program, rolling that program into the highly regulated I-502 licensing system. The rollout and implementation of Senate Bill 5052 will take place over the next year, culminating in the elimination of Washington’s current medical marijuana program by July 1, 2016. 


In this program, Hilary Bricken of Harris Moure explores the many issues posed by the passage of SB 5052 and House Bill 2136 (Washington’s technical fix bill for I-502). She also addresses the city of Seattle’s implementation of its own local medical marijuana laws, which now aim to shutter more than half of the city’s existing medical marijuana dispensaries in accordance with SB 5052, completely changing the landscape of the state-legal marijuana economy. 


Learning Objectives: 

I.     Examine Washington’s current medical marijuana collective garden system leading up to July 1, 2016 

II.    Analyze the relevant case law that renders medical marijuana “illegal” in the state of Washington 

III.   Understand the key provisions of SB 5052 and HB 2136, including how the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board plans to license existing medical marijuana entrepreneurs 

IV.   Identify the key provisions of the City of Seattle’s local medical and recreational cannabis laws, including new enforcement priorities and how the city will wind down existing medical marijuana operations going into summer 2016

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