The city of Seattle will hold a public forum on medical marijuana next Thursday, Nov. 20, at City Hall. This symposium represents the first step in the mayor’s plan to change how the industry is regulated.
“The mayor intends to propose a draft ordinance before the end of the year. This forum is an opportunity to bring the community together to talk about some of the issues that need to be addressed,” said Jason Kelly, a spokesman for the mayor’s office.
Although medical-marijuana businesses are proliferating, they operate in a legally gray and largely unregulated space in Seattle.
“We are still looking to Olympia to enact broad medical-marijuana reform next session, but we need to take action here in Seattle to address immediate concerns of patients, businesses and neighbors,” said Mayor Ed Murray in a news release. “Even if the state acts, we know implementation could stretch into 2016. We don’t want patients and businesses waiting in limbo, even as they face increasing legal risks.”
Panelists from the medical-marijuana industry, city agencies and community representatives will be on hand to answer questions about current regulations.
“The event will also feature a broader discussion on the disproportionate impact that marijuana criminal statutes and law enforcement have on youth and people of color,” according to the news release.
Kelly said the perspectives of panelists and questions from the community will help shape the ordinance the mayor plans to finalize and send to the city council.
The event will be held in the Bertha Knight Landes Room from 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. and hosted by Patricia Lally, the city’s Director of the Office for Civil Rights. David Mendoza, an advisor on marijuana policy to the mayor, will moderate panel discussions.
- Dominic Corva, Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy
- Michelle Sexton, Phyta Labs
- Bobby Hines, Confidence Analytics
- Randy Oliver, Analytical 360
- Leslie Walker, Children’s Hospital
- Boris Gorodnitsky, New Leaf Enterprise
- Kristin Nevedal, Americans for Safe Access
- John Schochet, Seattle City Attorney’s Office
- Jennifer Pettyjohn, Seattle Department of Planning and Development
- Oscar Velasco-Schmitz, Dockside
- Mark Cooke, ACLU of WA
- Karen Pillar, Team Child
- Anita Khandelwal, Racial Disparity Project