Stuck between a rock and a hard place, many Seattle medical marijuana dispensary owners are opting to just get out of the way.
The Seattle Times reports a recent rash of about 30 the DEA and U.S. Attorney letters, ordering dispensaries to close and that landlords to the storefronts may have their assets seized, have had a chilling effect on the industry. Most of the businesses that received the letters shut down that day, and others later without notice.
The letters, sent to those dispensaries the DEA supposedly identified as being within 1,000 yards of schools and playgrounds, were delivered three days after two storefront owners pled guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering.
The owners that are still operating vacillate between remaining open and closing their dispensaries.
Others are having a hard time finding friendly land owners to open shop.
"If clamping down on the industry was the goal, then mission accomplished," said Aaron Pelley, a Seattle attorney who represents medical-marijuana dispensaries, told the newspaper.