DEA orders West Seattle medical cannabis shop to close; Pharmaseed must be out by Sept. 23

The Drug Enforcement Adminstration (DEA) sent a letter out Thursday Aug. 23 to 23 medical-cannabis dispensaries in the region ordering their shut down within 30 days if they were within 1,000 feet of an "educational facility or other prohibited area."

That stipulation applies to only one outlet in West Seattle. Open since February of 2011, Pharmaseed on Alki must be shut down by Sept. 23.

The letter warned they could be charged criminally if they didn't comply. Their property, including profits and the buildings themselves, could also be seized under federal law, which prohibits the sale of marijuana.

The owners were not ready to comment when they were asked for a statement. The West Seattle Herald has a request in for a statement and will update this story when it is released. Their Facebook page and Twitter feed are silent on the matter thus far.

The letter states:
"Operation of any marijuana distribution storefront is illegal and undermines law enforcement’s efforts to regulate the possession, manufacturing and trafficking of controlled substances to keep our citizens safe. This letter seeks voluntary compliance with the law to prevent future exposure to criminal prosecution and/or civil forfeiture proceedings. I am confident that once notified of the ramifications and penalties associated with renting a property for marijuana distribution purposes, property owners will take appropriate steps to rectify the situation on their own. The DEA will not turn a blind eye to criminal organizations that attempt to use state or local law as a shield for their illicit drug trafficking activities. Additional notifications will be sent as necessary with follow-up action taken as warranted in coordination with the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Washington.”

This will not affect the other outlets in the West Seattle/White Center area which include "Sure Can Access Point" at Arrowhead Gardens, Herban Legends on 16th s.w. in White Center, or the Northwest Patient Resource Center at 35th s.w. and s.w. Roxbury whose owner, John Davis said, "We did our homework. We're 1,217 feet away from the nearest school."

The crackdown on the medical cannabis providers here is the most recent development but last week Brionne Corbray, owner of the now defunct G.A.M.E Collective which had two outlets in our area pleaded guilty to drug trafficking.

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