Closing medical marijuana shops is 'slow but steady'

The city of Seattle has issued the first violation notices to medical marijuana businesses since Mayor Ed Murray and council members announced an initiative to regulate the industry.

Already, there is some resistance.

City attorney Pete Holmes says of the first eight businesses to receive notices, three shop owners are taking the city to court. That may signal a long, tough fight ahead for the effort to close shops that don't comply with new city and state laws.

House Bill 5052, approved by state lawmakers, requires medical marijuana businesses to close if they opened after January 2013. These newer businesses must be issued notices of violation and close by July 2016.

Before that deadline, Seattle's Department of Planning and Development is cleaning up the industry by issuing violations to businesses who don't comply with city zoning laws that require them to "establish use."

Approximately 56 of the more than 100...

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