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Pot Dispensaries Respond To DEA Letters

Ann Dornfeld

About two dozen medical marijuana dispensaries around Puget Sound got letters from the Drug Enforcement Agency Friday demanding they shut their doors.


The DEA announced Thursday it had mailed warnings to 23 dispensaries that the businesses were operating within a thousand feet of a school, playground or another area barred by federal law.

Nathan: "Getting this letter today was pretty disheartening."

Nathan is the director of The Medicine Jar dispensary in Seattle. He didn't want to give his last name.

Nathan says when he was looking for a place to start his business a year ago, he avoided locations that were within a thousand feet of a school.

He knew the DEA had shut down dispensaries elsewhere in the country for violating that law. And he says he understands the school restriction.

Nathan: "When I found this place up here in North Seattle, I was really excited because right next door to us is a strip club, and I know that some of the restrictions on strip clubs are they cannot be within 1,000 feet of a school."

Turns out, The Medicine Jar was not in the clear after all.

Nathan: "There's a church that's a little over a block away from us. And apparently there's a private school inside the church. I had no idea about that."

Nathan says The Medicine Jar is going to shut down, but he's not sure whether he'll reopen the business elsewhere.

He may just operate at farmers markets or make deliveries, or shift to growing, or just make infused pot products.

I'm Ann Dornfeld, KUOW News.

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