Seattle to license, tax medical marijuana gardens

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SEATTLE (AP) -- The Seattle City Council has unanimously passed rules requiring that medical marijuana operations be licensed and taxed, and a spokesman for Mayor Mike McGinn says he expects to sign the measure soon.

The unanimous vote Monday requires that marijuana gardens follow all city business laws, such as land use and historic preservation codes. The measure is a response to Gov. Chris Gregoire's partial veto of a bill that would have created a system of licensed marijuana dispensaries.

The veto eliminated a gray area that allowed dispensaries to sell marijuana to qualifying patients, but the governor left in sections that allow for community gardens covering up to 10 patients and 45 plants.

Some medical marijuana proponents praised the city's action, but medical marijuana attorney Douglas Hiatt said he'll sue to block it. He says marijuana remains illegal under both federal and state law, and the city does not have authority to regulate an illegal substance.