West Seattle medical marijuana: Delridge dispensary plan reportedly revived

May 8, 2011 at 11:10 pm | In Delridge, Health, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 32 Comments

A medical-marijuana dispensary is reported to be back on the table for moving into 5214 Delridge Way (map), less than two months after a fleetingly-reported possibility led to an intense neighborhood discussion, including a briefing before the Delridge District Council. That possibility seemed to fade, as reported here back in mid-March, when police said they had received word that the property owner was “leaning away” from renting to a medical-marijuana operation. Now, according to a report that North Delridge Neighborhood Council chair Karrie Kohlhaas has shared with the group’s mailing list, the plan is back. Kohlhaas writes that the co-owners of Washington Alternative Medicine requested a meeting with their group’s board last Friday to inform NDNC they’re negotiating to lease 5214 Delridge Way, which prior to a recent round of renovations had a troubled history, as home to Delridge Vacuum and TV, whose license was revoked by the city two years ago.

Prior to Kohlhaas’s report, we had already heard the new Delridge-dispensary report from a source who asked not to be identified, so we had been trying to reach WAM ownership to find out more. An associate of the owners eventually called our reporter back to ask that questions be e-mailed, and we are still awaiting a reply. If a facility does open at this site on Delridge, it would be the fourth known current/upcoming medical-marijuana enterprise in West Seattle (after GAME Collective on California SW midway between Alaska and Morgan Junctions, and Pharmaseed on Alki, now in operation, with Northwest Patient Resource Center coming to 35th/Roxbury), in addition to two new ones in the heart of the White Center business district just south of West Seattle, the GAME Collective “lounge” and Herban Legends.

This all comes as the status of the burgeoning medical-marijuana industry remains somewhat clouded, since Governor Gregoire vetoed much of a bill that both houses of the State Legislature passed in hopes of regulating it. There’s talk now of an alternate bill before the Legislature’s current special session ends; in the meantime, dispensaries remain illegal under state law (as reiterated on this state website), even though medical marijuana itself was legalized by voter initiative in 1997, but local authorities have not yet indicated how they’ll be handled if no state regulation is forthcoming.

32 Comments

  1. I’m thinking the property owner didn’t get any other rental inquiries and was still faced with paying their mortgage, so have begun to lean back toward renting the space to the dispensary. This begs the question of whether the community feels that a foreclosure is better than a dispensary? Also whether individuals would be willing to suffer bankruptcy in order to not rent to a dispensary? There are some interesting ethical choices here.

    Comment by Westsider — 10:03 am May 9, 2011 #

  2. Thanks for the Address

    Comment by Paul — 2:46 pm May 9, 2011 #

  3. Ethical choice…hmmm…What about the one to force the “moral” judgement of one group… that use of the cannabis plant is somehow “wrong” to the point of being criminal…on the rest of society through an active program of fear mongering, lies, and hysteria. There is no good reason to continue this prohibition, many for ending it immediately.

    Comment by Fiwa Jcbbb — 5:53 pm May 9, 2011 #

  4. Won’t somebody please think of the children!

    Comment by jw — 6:19 pm May 9, 2011 #

  5. I bet they get robbed in the first six months.

    Comment by Aye Jay — 8:47 pm May 9, 2011 #

  6. I think this is great! I congratulate the owners of this building for their decision. There are many people who experience pain with cancer and are helped with canabis…Now they will have one more location to purchase what they need freely and safely.

    Comment by Carol — 7:23 am May 10, 2011 #

  7. Wrong building, wrong neighborhood, wrong time.
    -
    WSB: Did Washington Alternative Medicine ever respond to your questions? They had said they would be present at the NDNC meeting last night, but alas, they were a no-show. That say’s a lot about their stated commitment to neighborhood engagement and involvement.
    -
    How many of these dispensaries is enough for West Seattle? If this one at 5214 Delridge Way opens up I think that will bring the total to seven between the WS based ones and the ones just across the city limits in White Center. That is getting close to passing the number of pharmacies and certainly surpasses the amount of liquor stores.
    -
    I am not buying the humanitarian sales job being put forth by the players involved. Me sees greed and dollars signs in their eyes and words.

    Comment by One On Every Corner? — 11:26 am May 10, 2011 #

  8. I have been to the G.A.M.E. lounge in White Center and what I saw was people of all walks of life. As a white, middle-class, middle-aged woman, I didn’t feel any threatening presence. If you go into the Poggie Tavern, Rocksport, etc. any hour of the day, you see people self medicating at the bar. Only difference is, people didn’t seem to over medicate at the MMJ lounge the way they do at medical alcohol establishments (Sarcasm). Honestly, I don’t get all the fuss. I’ve been using MMJ since my late 30′s and manage to avoid a host of health problems linked to pharm. meds. that my doctor would rather have me take. MMJ is not addictive and doesn’t negatively affect my family and other relationships either. How is this a bad thing?

    Comment by My2cents — 11:36 am May 10, 2011 #

  9. I think it’s a sign of progress. There will always be self-righteous and fearful people who want to control the personal choices of others. But we can’t let them call the shots because they keep us all from moving forward and healing ourselves. Seeking better health choices should be supported by everyone in the community and safety from criminalization should be without question.

    Comment by MG — 11:51 am May 10, 2011 #

  10. One On Every: Nope, they have not replied to e-mail nor called back. We had a reporter at NDNC last night (as we would generally anyway) – she is still working on her story but she said the same thing, they weren’t there though neighborhood leaders had told us they had said they planned to be. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:17 pm May 10, 2011 #

  11. I met one of the owners this weekend as he was walking through the neighborhood introducing himself to the neighboring businesses. It seems to me they are trying to initiate themselves into the community by requesting the original meeting and by going through the neighborhood like he did. He asked for my opinion about what I thought about this service moving into the neighborhood and he seemed genuine in his approach. While I have no opinion one way or the other and I have no say on what people do with their own lives or businesses I appreciated the fact that he asked me for my opinion. I’ve never had a business owner ask my opinion about anything in this neighborhood and I think this does show neighborhood engagement and involvement more than showing up to a meeting that most of the neighborhood doesn’t even show up for. I appreciate what the NDNC does for the neighborhood, but honestly how many of the NDNC board are business owners leasing commercial buildings on Delridge?

    Comment by Patty — 1:30 pm May 10, 2011 #

  12. Has everyone forgotten about the “vacuum repair” shop that was really just a front for prostitution,drugs and stolen merchandise and what a fight it was to rid the neighborhood of that scumbag? if anyone out there is counting on the Megale’s to police this business any differently then you have another thing coming. I myself am not opposed to medical marijuana, what i am opposed to are slumlords like the Megale’s exploiting the neighborhood and putting public safety at risk for the sake of profit. I will be a vocal opponent of the Megale’s and their plans for this space.
    “Loosing Duh!” Let’s clean up Delridge, not go backwards…

    Comment by Against the Megale's — 1:35 pm May 10, 2011 #

  13. ** Dr. Megale’s Stoner Shop is Now Open !! **
    (And only 3 blocks from the high school)

    The medical marijuana thing was originally started by a select group of recreational users that wanted to make it legal but needed to get there foot in the legislative door by saying it was to help the “cancer patients” .
    Originally it had to be prescribed by doctors only to those who demonstrated and had documented years of chronic pain. Then about 6 months ago they allowed “naturopaths” to prescribe marijuana and then the flood gates were opened. Now all you have to do is look on Craigslist and there are numerous so called “Doctors” (naturopaths). That will prescribe, “give you your card” for a year for roughly $200.
    My friend went to a clinic right on the north side of the Aurora bridge and made up a story about an accident he was in 5 years prior and with out any proof and 20 minutes of his time he was presented with his “card” (good for a year) . Which allows him to go to these dispensaries and purchase and carry his “medicine” (Many ounces) Big Bags! Basically , It is a joke !
    So , Get ready Delridge. The Megale’s Stoner shop is now open! And only 3 blocks from the high school. If you think that they are doing a service by providing the seriously ill there “Medicine” you will be sadly mistaken.
    Oh.. and by the way. The typical going rate (rent) for a landlord to provide this noble deed for the community is roughly $3,000/month . Basically 4 times market value.

    Comment by Dr. Megale the dentist — 1:00 am May 11, 2011 #

  14. OPEN YOUR EYES! This will DESTROY Delridge.
    Here is what happened shortly after the “Medical Marijuana” Shop opened on California AVE ( a “GOOD” neighborhood in West Seattle )

    “Two days after an armed robbery at a medical-marijuana dispensary in the 5400 block of California SW (original Saturday night WSB coverage here), the three suspects made initial court appearances this afternoon. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says the adult suspect, 24, has bail set at $500,000; the 15- and 16-year-old boys who also were arrested have been ordered to “remain in secure detention.” The KCPAO has until Wednesday to file charges or set the suspects free. We’ll add to this story shortly with details from the court documents accompanying word of today’s hearing.

    ADDED 5:31 PM UPDATE: We’re transcribing the court document (minus any suspect/witness names), after the jump:

    On Saturday, 3-19-11, at approximately 1800 hrs, suspects (juvenile 1), (juvenile 2) and (adult) entered the Game Medical Marijuana Dispensary, located at 5437 California Avenue SW in the City of Seattle with the intent of committing an armed robbery. Upon entering the facility, suspects (juvenile 1) and (adult) pulled out semi-automatic pistols, taking aim at two dispensary employees and three customers.

    The victims were forced to the floor at gunpoint and subsequently had their hands tied with zipties. (Juvenile 1) went behind the counter and removed the cash from the cash register while suspects (Juvenile 2) and (adult) robbed the victims of their wallets, cellular telephones, vehicle keys as well as removing the medical marijuana from the shelves and storage cabinets. (All three suspects) ran from the dispensary. It should be noted that (witness…) who has (a business nearby) heard the armed robbery taking place and set off an audible alarm and telephoned 911 and reported this incident. Seattle Police Department (SPD) uniformed officers were being dispatched during the robbery.

    Victims (three names) managed to get their zipties off their hands and exited the dispensary. Once outside, they observed the three suspects running south from the scene. Suspects (juveniles) ran (bound?) on California Avenue SW in the 5400 block while suspect (adult) ran south in the alley to the west of California Avenue SW. (Two victims) followed (juvenile suspects) in (victim’s) pickup truck while (victim) followed suspect (adult) in his vehicle. (Victims) flagged down the responding officers and pointed out (juvenile suspects), who were subsequently taken into custody.

    (Victim), while driving southbound in the alley to the west of California Avenue SW, observed some of the bags of Medical Marijuana and a loaded semi-automatic pistol on the ground. (Victim) stopped his vehicle and began to pick up the Medical Marijuana and place it into his vehicle. As (Victim) was collecting the stolen property, he observed suspect (adult) running northbound in the alley directly at him. It was apparent to (victim) that (adult suspect) was returning to collect the stolen Medical Marijuana and the semi-automatic pistol that he had discarded. (Suspect), fearing for his safety, picked up the semi-automatic pistol that was on the ground and took aim at (adult suspect) who was now approximately ten feet from him. (Victim) ordered (suspect) to the ground. (Adult suspect) complied with (victim’s) orders and laid down on the ground. (Victim) sat on (adult suspect) until SPD Officers arrived.

    (Juvenile suspect), post-Miranda, confessed to being armed with a .22 caliber pistol and removing the cash from the cash register. More …

    According to the probable-cause document, the adult suspect is from Northgate, the two teenagers from Des Moines. The adult has an assault conviction (we researched that earlier – it involves an attack on a Metro bus driver near Shoreline Community College almost two years ago); the 15-year-old suspect has a record described as “dangerous weapon” and “assault”; there is nothing listed for the 16-year-old.”

    Guess what will happen to YOUR property value.

    Comment by Concerned — 1:15 pm May 12, 2011 #

  15. word on the street is that a lease for a medical marajuana dispensary at 5214 delridge ave is not going to happen. Therese Bianchi of keller williams realty 206 234 6607 the real estate agent for the bulding would know the truth of the matter. If anyone gets a hold of her and can get an anwser as to what is actually going on I would love to hear it. If any of you blog readers talk to her PLEASE post the response from her. Maybe we can get to the bottom of what is really going on.

    Comment by confused in delridge — 8:58 pm May 14, 2011 #

  16. In response to the post made by patty about talking to the proposed proprietors of the medical marijuana dispensary known as W.A.M. In speaking to them did they offer you or anyone else they talked to in the community the names of any of the doctors they have established relationships with who will be writing the prescriptions for the medicine they will be receiving from W.A.M? also what are the policies and procedures that will be in place at this dispensary to verify the D.E.A numbers of these doctors that must be on every prescription written by any doctor. Legal pharmacists must verify this information before they dispense a prescription at a pharmacy. If they are starting this business in the name of humanity to help cancer patients or anyone else suffering from a chronic illness aren’t these questions relevant? What qualifications do they have to run this business that will help so many people? The owners of W.A.M are Brandon Hamilton email address wamcollective@yahoo.com and Dax Colwell wamcollective@yahoo.com. As a concerned resident of Delridge I am very interested to hear what they have to say. I encourage them to address these and other questions and concerns from our community in a public forum. Maybe they and the owners of the other two dispensaries all ready open in west Seattle as well as the owner of the one that is set to open at 35th and Roxbury can get together and compare notes and once and for all tell us all how they are upstanding business owners only looking out for the good of the community they serve.

    Comment by Curious — 1:05 pm May 15, 2011 #

  17. Hey, If anyone out there knows how to reach Charlie Sheen, let’s get his opinion on this topic. He could set us all straight, I’m sure.

    Comment by Comic Relief — 4:21 pm May 15, 2011 #

  18. A marijuana dispensary -what a crock!! We don’t have penicillin, heart medicine, or high blood pressure medicine dispensaries. I don’t have a problem with anyone who wants to smoke pot. Regulate it properly and control distribution at a licensed pharmacy where all prescriptions are written by a licensed physician. We all know these dispensaries are just a stoner’s candy store. Good luck Delridge. Given what I’ve read about this location, this is a huge step backwards.

    Comment by Get a Clue — 10:01 pm May 15, 2011 #

  19. GET REAL!

    Comment by Rick — 4:28 pm May 16, 2011 #

  20. I’d like to thank “Curious” for calling out Mr. Calwell and Mr. Hamilton by name. Now we can all run background checks on them to see if they deserve community consent to establish a business in the land of the free. “Curious” I’m curious what you think their qualifications should be? There is a coffee shop across the street from West Seattle HS that serves coffee and sandwiches to all customers (including students), and beer and wine to qualifying adults with proper ID in accordance with the law. What should be the qualifications for that business owner? Please enlighten the blog. Assuming Mr. Colwell and Mr. Hamilton are establishing this business with the intent to actually succeed, then I have to believe they understand how to serve their potential customers in accordance with the law.
    This business, like all others, is not something a person jumps into without common sense, a legal foundation, and a business plan. The fact that one or both of these two fellows was walking through the community and talking to people about their business plan leads me to believe they have thought this through, and that they care about the community. You, “Curious” were able to call them out by name, yet you apparently don’t know the names of the other similar-business owners. That is likely because Mr. Colwell and Mr. Hamilton are the only entrepreneurs who had the forethought to discuss their business plan with the community counsel (so much for that good idea). Hopefully, they are also working with the city. If so, they might be the only two guys with enough balls to work with city attorneys and other city officials to make sure this establishment, and all future establishments, are erected and operated properly and safely for the good of their customers.
    I applaud these guys for taking steps forward on this. It is not easy. If any of us are truly curious about what we are dealing with here then I suggest you do your own research. Or follow the suggestion of “Curious” and email these guys for their thoughts. You can also contact the 88 prominent organizations nationwide that support the initiative being championed by Mr. Colwell and Mr. Hamilton, and they are worth mentioning in the blog:

    1.) AIDS Action Council- 1996
    2.) Alaska Nurses Association – 1998
    3.) Alaska Voters – 1998 4.) Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics – 1981
    5.) +American Academy of Family Physicians – 1989, 1995 6.) American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
    7.) American Medical Students Association – 1993 8.) American Preventive Medical Association – 1997
    9.) +American Public Health Association (APHA) – 1995 10.) Arizona Voters – 1996 & 1998
    11.) Berkeley, CA – 1979 12.) Breckenridge, CO – 1994
    13.) Burlington, VT – 1994 14.) California Academy of Family Physicians – 1996
    15.) California Democratic Party – 1993 16.) California Legislative Council for Older Americans – 1993
    17.) +California Medical Association – 1994 18.) California Nurses Association – 1995
    19.) California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church – 1996
    20.) California Pharmacists Association – 1997
    21.) California Society of Addiction Medicine – 1997 22.) California Voters – 1996
    23.) Cannabis Freedom Fund – 1996 24.) Colorado Voters – 2000
    25.) Colorado Nurses Association – 1995 26.) Contigo-Conmigo – 1997
    27.) Consumer Reports Magazine – 1997 28.) Crescent Alliance Self Help for Sickle Cell – 1999
    29.) Cure AIDS now – 1991 30.) District of Columbia Voters – 1999
    31.) +Episcopal Church of the U.S. – 1982 32.) Farmacy – 1999
    33.) Federation of American Scientists – 1994 34.) Florida Governor’s Red Ribbon Panel on AIDS – 1993
    35.) Florida Medical Association – 1997 36.) City of Frisco, CO – 1994
    37.) Hawaii Kokua Council of Senior Citizens – 2000 38.) Hawaii Legislature – 2000
    39.) Hawaii Nurses Association – 1999 40.) Institute of Medicine – 1982 & 1999
    41.) International Cannabis Alliance of Researchers and Educators (I-CARE) – 1992
    42.) Iowa Civil Liberties Union
    43.) Iowa Democratic Party – 1994 & 2000 44.) Kaiser Permanente – 1997
    45.) Life Extension Foundation – 1997 46.) Libertarian Party – 1999
    47.) Los Angeles County AIDS Commission – 1996 48.) Lymphoma Foundation of America – 1997
    49.) Madison, WI – 1993 50.) Maine AIDS Alliance – 1997
    51.) Maine Voters – 1999 52.) Marin County, CA – 1993
    53.) Minnesota Democratic Farm-Labor Party – 1992 54.) Mississippi Nurses Association – 1995
    55.) Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse (MAMA) -1992 56.) Multiple Sclerosis California Action Network (MS-CAN) – 1996
    57.) National Association for Public Health Policy – 1998 58.) National Association of Attorneys General – 1983
    59.) National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) 60.) National Association of People with AIDS – 1992
    61.) National Nurses Society on Addictions (NNSA) -1995 62.) Nevada Voters – 1998
    63.) New England Journal of Medicine – 1997 64.) New Mexico Nurses Association – 1997
    65.) New York State Nurses Association – 1995 66.) North Carolina Nurses Association – 1996
    67.) City of Oakland, California – 1998 68.) Oregon Voters – 1998
    69.) Oregon Green Party – 2001 70.) Oregon Democratic Party – 1998
    71.) Patients Out of Time – 1995 72.) Physicians Association for AIDS Care
    73.) Physicians for Social Responsibility (Oregon) – 1998 74.) Republican Liberty Caucus National Committee – 1999
    75.) City of San Diego, CA – 1994 76.) City San Francisco, CA – 1992
    77.) San Francisco Medical Society – 1996 78.) Santa Cruz County, CA – 1993
    79.) Virginia Nurses Association – 1994
    80.) Virginia Nurses Society on Addictions – 1993
    81.) Washington Hemp Education Network – 1999 82.) Washington Democratic Party – 1998 & 2000
    83.) Washington Voters – 1998 84.) Wisconsin Democratic Party – 1997
    85.) Wisconsin Public Health Association – 1999
    86.) Wisconsin Nurses Association – 1999
    87.) Women of Reform Judaism – 2000
    88.) Iowa Board of Pharmacy – 2010

    Comment by Evan — 3:16 pm May 17, 2011 #

  21. Evan, not that you’re addressing us directly as much as commenters, but so you know, we have e-mailed them to seek comment. And called. And to date, they have not answered WSB inquiries. Can’t ask somebody questions if they won’t call or e-mail you back. If you are affiliated with them, we’re still interested in talking. editor@westseattleblog.com or 206-293-6302 any item, or the contact info left by the reporter we had assigned to the story. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:41 pm May 17, 2011 #

  22. WSB-

    I am not affiliated with them, but I do hope they respond to you. I imagine they’ve been met with a front of less-than-objective council criticism after being vocal about their intentions early on. I can’t blame them for letting the dust settle.

    -Evan

    Comment by Evan — 4:19 pm May 17, 2011 #

  23. First, Any coffee shop that serves alcohol or any other establishment that serves beer and wine must have a liqueur licence. The owners of W.A.M handed out their business cards, therefore they have no expectation of privacy.
    Second, I, and probably many others believe anyone who opens an establishment of this sort should have some sort of experience eg – a pharmacist who goes to school, gets a license and is then regulated by the state to dispense medicine.
    I am not arguing the validity of medical marijuana. I am not a medical professional. I am not a lawyer. I do have the right to understand how a business of any sort that opens in my neighborhood plans to run itself, so if the owners of W.A.M have their business plan, there safty plan and there policies and procedures in place to run this “Safe and successful business”, let us all know PUBLICLY.
    By the way, Have YOU talked to any of the business owners in the neighborhood to see how THEY feel Evan?
    The WSB tried to contact W.A.M people to NO AVAIL.

    Comment by Curious — 8:41 am May 18, 2011 #

  24. Evan, the 88 organizations that support the initiative are valid. That is not the issue. The issue is the location. Period. I am a homeowner in the Delridge community. The location that is being proposed for the Medical Marajuana Dispensary used to be the home of a vacuum shop that was the front for illegal activity. When that shop closed, our community breathed a sigh of relief. Why not lease a space in Westwood Village? Yes we do live in the land of the Free but what about our right as residents to be free from potential problems? While there are plenty of Cancer patients that may benefit from Medical Marajuana, there are also plenty of idiots who have no respect for our community or for the law. Unfortunately the potential for crime that would surround such a business is much greater than if a dress shop were to lease the space. Again, the LOCATION is the issue.

    Comment by Julie — 10:10 am May 18, 2011 #

  25. The Dust will NOT settle! When you do the RIGHT THING there is no reason to keep it quiet.

    Comment by Curious — 10:33 am May 18, 2011 #

  26. As a business owner on Delridge, this dispensary will receive MUCH resistance and opposition. Again, this is NOT the location for such controversial “business”. Go away, you are not welcome here!

    Comment by busn owner — 11:38 am May 18, 2011 #

  27. Right On busn owner….

    Comment by Curious — 2:24 pm May 18, 2011 #

  28. Having a dispensary in this location would be a huge step FORWARDs, not backwards. To the existing business owners in Delridge saying they will show “resistence” that just shows classless criticism of there already failing business…grow up and get with the times. Over 25 dispesanrys have already opened up this year alone in Seattle and that number is only going up. So feel free to show as much resistance as you want…you will only be wasting your time while the industry keeps growing.

    Comment by Michael Westfall — 1:57 pm May 23, 2011 #

  29. And I do know first hand that there will be a dispensary opening in this location or another one not too far away that the delridge council may not know about. There will be a signed lease within the next 5 days.

    Comment by Micheal Westfall — 1:59 pm May 23, 2011 #

  30. Over 25 dispensarys have opened in the past year in Seattle…get with the times. feel free to show as much resistance as you want as this business grows and grows…it wont do anything. I look forward to seeing more dispensarys opening in the Seattle area…safer than any bar.

    Comment by Paul Southland — 2:02 pm May 23, 2011 #

  31. Michael Westfall, where is it that you are going to sign a lease for your “clearly illegal dispensary”?

    Comment by busn owner — 11:47 am May 27, 2011 #

  32. Yes, Where Michael?

    Comment by Curious — 1:08 pm May 29, 2011 #

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