Marysville pot dispensary pins hopes on appeal

MARYSVILLE — Those who run a medical marijuana dispensary here have one more chance to convince city officials to let them operate in Marysville.

Elevated Medical Treatment, which began operating out of a house on Smokey Point Boulevard in March and later voluntarily shut down, was denied a business license by the city in May. The group has filed an appeal with the city’s hearing examiner.

A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for 9 a.m. today at City Hall, 1049 State Ave. The hearing examiner is expected to make a decision at the meeting, city administrator Gloria Hirashima said.

If the hearing examiner rules against the appeal, the group would have to take its case to Snohomish County Superior Court to try to reverse the decision.

Medicinal pot dispensaries are illegal in Washington state. Marijuana was made legal for medical use in the state by initiative in 1998, but it must be grown by the user or a designated provider. That provider must be an individual, not a group, and may provide only to one person.

It was on those grounds that the city denied the group’s business license application, Hirashima said.

“It was a pretty straightforward decision,” she said.

Those who run Elevated Medical Treatment did not return phone calls seeking comment on Tuesday.

The group is registered with the state as a nonprofit organization. On its business license application in March, it listed its intended service as “holistic, herbal, alternative, organic remedies.” The application did not mention marijuana.

The organization’s website, www.elevatedmedical treatment.com, describes the group as a “legal provider of medical cannabis in North Snohomish, Skagit, Island, and Whatcom counties,” and lists suggested donations of up to $350 per ounce.

In a letter explaining the city’s denial of the business application, Hirashima said city officials visited the operation in late April and saw marijuana being distributed.

Michael Reid, a Seattle attorney representing the group, in April readily referred to the Marysville operation as a dispensary, but described it as “de facto” legal.

“If everybody treats it as legal, it is indeed legal,” he said at the time.

Following publicity about the operation in April, the group agreed to shut down operations until legal issues with the city are decided.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

State medicinal marijuana law

Medical marijuana is legal in Washington, but with restrictions.

A patient who has a written recommendation from a doctor for marijuana use may grow it or may designate a provider to grow it if he or she is physically unable to do so, according to Donn Moyer, a state Department of Health spokesman. They may grow a 60-day supply of marijuana, defined as 24 ounces and 15 plants.

It is not legal for anyone to buy or sell the drug, and it is not legal to possess it except by personal growing for prescribed medical use.

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