Crackdown coming on Seattle black market marijuana

Legal retailers say the black market is undercutting legitimate sellers.

SEATTLE -- Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes is vowing to crack down on illegal, black market marijuana businesses that he says are undercutting licensed retailers.

The Washington state Liquor and Cannabis Board estimates the black market makes up around 28% of the entire market. Legal retailers feel that estimate is low. 

"I'm not free to say all of the enforcement steps that are being engineered now. But Seattle is going to crack down," said Holmes.

Currently, 577 producer/processors and 228 retailers have been licensed by the state. That's produced around $65 million in taxes. Legal retailers say in order for legalization to be successful, the illegal sales must be addressed.

Holmes is zeroing in on pot delivery services which boast the "best prices in town" and "delivery to most areas."  The brazen advertisements are featured in such publications like The Stranger. These services are all illegal.

"If they are licensed and regulated, delivery services can be a public safety enhancement. But today these unlicensed delivery services, are plainly and simply felony operations," said Holmes.

Holmes plans to ask the state legislature to approve a pilot program for legal marijuana delivery in Seattle that, he says, will be a benefit to people with mobility issues and improve road safety.


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