Feds crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries

by: Chris Legeros Updated:

SEATTLE - The Drug Enforcement Administration has ordered 11 medical marijuana dispensaries in the Seattle area to shut down within 30 days.

They all received letters advising them that the manufacture and distribution of a controlled substance was illegal under federal law.

U.S. law takes precedence over state law allowing the dispensing of medical marijuana. It's unclear why 11 dispensaries were singled out.

Part of the letter referred to enhanced penalties for operating within 1,000 feet of a school or playground. It's confusing and disappointing to the owners of Herbal Healing in Seattle's Crown Hill neighborhood.

One of them, named Sara, said her business is not anywhere near a school, and they've complied with all state and local laws.

Sara said she and her husband opened the dispensary two years ago to help medical marijuana patients.

They will now reopen in another location.

“It’s pretty big hassle, but it's worth the fight,” said Sara.