Tacoma, Wash. — As more and more recreational marijuana stores open with Initiative 502, Tacoma City leaders are looking at how medical marijuana collectives fit in the city dynamics. City leaders say there upwards of 50 collectives that aren’t regulated or taxed but still operating.
Rainier on Pine is one of Tacoma’s first recreational marijuana stores, and owner Don Muridan has a personal connection to the product he sells.
“I got into medical marijuana in 2011,” said Muridan. “I was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. I learned the medicinal properties of cannabis.”
Muridan now has both a recreation marijuana store, which is heavily regulated, and a medical marijuana collective, which is not.
It’s a dilemma city leaders want to change. The Council has asked city staff to come up with a plan to tackle the issue, which could mean shutting the collectives down.
“I think everyone is on the same page that we want safety and security and everyone to be playing by the same rules, and to eliminate the black market in Tacoma,” said Tacoma City Councilman Ryan Mello.
Cannabis Club President Brian Caldwell runs one of the collectives that could be forced to close, but he’s not worried. Caldwell plans to convince the council his collective serves an important purpose that recreational stores do not.
“I don’t think that’s a smart move because I don’t think recreational is ready to give patients the service we’re currently giving,” said Caldwell.
Muridan isn’t so sure, t’s why he plans to turn his medical marijuana collective into a recreational store. His battle with cancer might be over, but the one to protect his passion is just starting.
“Every industry in the country is regulated, and we know that and we heard that was going …read more