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Tacoma: Mayor names appointees to medical marijuana task force

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on Aug. 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
August 29, 2011 3:36 pm

As we wrote about last week, the city council has established a “medical cannabis task force” to help form regulations for pot dispensaries in the city.

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland has since named 11 members to the panel. The appointees include:

Laurie Jinkins, Washington state representative and Tacoma Pierce County Health Department deputy director

Stan Rumbaugh, Private practice attorney

Duane Wilkerson, Pierce County AIDS Foundation executive director

Patricia Lecy-Davis, Neighborhood business owner

Dr. Gregory Carter, Physician, Clinical Professor UW School of Medicine

Debbie Regala, Washington State Senator

McKenzie Allen, former police officer and former Citizen Review Panel member

Carol Owens, Safe Streets

Fred Scruggs
, Tacoma Police Department

Dr. Bob Thiessen, oncologist

Don Meridan Medical cannabis patient, operator of Rainier Wellness Center dispensary

In all, the mayor heard from 20 to 25 people who expressed interest in serving on the volunteer committee, city spokesman Rob McNair-Huff said in an email today.

“Members of the task force were chosen based on their expertise, so that the group could have a rounded and informed discussion about the issues surrounding medical cannabis,” McNair-Huff wrote. “So most members are Tacoma residents, but some who bring special expertise to the group are not Tacoma residents.”

The committee’s chairperson has yet to be designated, he added.

Among other things, the new committee is expected by Oct. 15 to provide “balanced feedback and recommendations to the city manager to assist city staff in developing recommendations to the City Council regarding business licensing, health and safety and tax requirements,” according to the council’s resolution authorizing the task force last week.

The panel will also have authority to conduct public outreach upon request of the public safety committee, and will provide “advice and feedback” to the city’s planning commission in development of a “Medical Cannabis Policy Development” land use plan to be forwarded to the council Dec. 29.

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