Federal Way weighs lifting dispensary ban

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. --  While marijuana has been legal in Washington State for years now, there are still some cities where you would be hard-pressed to find cannabis.

Federal Way is one of those cities, but come November that could change.

Krissy Grant doesn’t just want cannabis nearby, she needs it. 

“Currently, I bus over an hour and a half each direction," Grant said. “I use two different types of CBD daily.”

Grant, like a lot of other people, use cannabis medically. Because it is legal in Washington, access should be easy, right? Wrong.

“Sometimes down to Tacoma, sometimes I’ll go to a familiar store in Seattle with budtenders who are knowledgeable and understand the different strands.”

People in Federal Way voted to stop dispensaries from setting up shop four years ago. Now, two committees have formed.

“A lot has changed and it will be interesting to see how this turns this time around.”

Each side will draft what viewers see on the ballot, both the pro and con breakdown of dispensaries for the King County general election, which we will see in November. The city of Federal Way has already been cleared for four licenses based on the population size.

“These stores help everyone in the community, whether or not they themselves and to use cannabis or not.”

And just like 4 years ago, not everyone is on board with the idea. Con committee member Jack Walsh voiced his concern about the drug being sold in his city at a city council meeting earlier this month.

“It sends a signal basically, the city council and the city are giving passive approval that it is fine smoking marijuana.”

Walsh says the dispensaries aren’t necessary in Federal Way.

“If the adults want to go up to one of our neighboring cities and get marijuana for their use, that’s fine, let’s not bring it here.”

And that’s exactly why Grant is advocating for the dispensaries.

“We represent a lot of seniors and other disabled neighbors who aren’t able to bus or commute that far.”

Grant and others on the pro committee say it’s time to get on board with everyone else in the state.

“It will benefit our entire city for this revenue that we’re missing right now.”

Grant says if the vote passes, the dispensaries would follow state laws, including staying 1,000 feet from a school, and age restrictions would also be enforced.

“Security and safety is still of utmost importance to everyone… everyone.”

Both sides have until Aug. 13 to submit a 200-word statement that will go in the main voter's guide for the King County General Election in November.