Medical marijuana shop in Ballard closing because of new rules under I-502

SEATTLE -- Green Ambrosia, the medical marijuana store in Ballard, is closing down this weekend because, the owner said, it would be in violation of the state rules set up for the sale of recreational pot stores.


Green Ambrosia owner Dante Jones said his shop would be in violation of the I-502 regulatory system so, instead of fighting it, they have no choice but to shut down.

The Washington Liquor Control Board initially tried to loosen the 1,000-foot buffer zones from schools and parks so there would be more areas where pot stores could set up shop. But after the federal government expressed concern, the board reversed its decision. The 1,000-foot rule is measured by a straight line and not by the common path of travel. That restriction means many medical marijuana stores are too close to schools, park and other entities protected by the 1,00o-foot rule.

Green Ambrosia, under the new rule, is too close too an elementary school.

Jones predicted that 95 percent of medical marijuana stores will be closed by the time state-regulated retail stores are open for business.

In Washington, 334 retail pot shops were approved by the board. Forty will be allowed in King County and 21 in Seattle.

The first batch of retail stores are expected to open by June.