Medical marijuana management company opens in Black Diamond
By TJ MARTINELL
Covington Reporter Reporter
September 4, 2012 · Updated 5:45 PM
A medical marijuana business has opened in Black Diamond.
Lady Buds, Inc., located at 31515 3rd Ave., is described as a management company by owner Vali Bauer.
According to Lady Buds website, it is a “garden management service company.”
Bauer said the organization, which she asserted was not selling products, ensures different collective gardens in the area comply with state law.
“The collective gardens can bring in donations,” Bauer said. “Qualified patients are able to receive donations.”
Some of Lady Buds’ products are also offered as donations on mmjmenu.com for patients who qualify.
Bauer said there are plans to offer massage therapy and other alternative medicines available in the future.
“We’re still new, so we’re still starting up,” Bauer said. “But we want to do what we can to help those who qualify.”
Lady Buds, Inc. can be found on legalmarijuanadispensary.com.
Bauer originally submitted an application for a business license in April, which the city rejected at that time.
According to a letter dated May 3 addressed to Bauer from Assistant City Administrator Brenda Martinez, parts of the business description Bauer provided in the original application was not considered lawful activity.
“Although state law provides an affirmative defense against certain prosecutions for violation of state law and city code, the Washington State Supreme Court has made it clear that the presence of an affirmative defense does not negate any elements of the charged crime,” Martinez wrote in the letter.
Martinez wrote other aspects of the business description were legal and could be approved if the unlawful activities were removed from the description.
According to Community Development Director Steve Pilcher, another application was submitted describing the business as “holistic therapy and massage, management company for handling finances and assets of disabled persons.” The second application was accepted.
Pilcher told the Reporter in July the city uses its business license process to regulate collective gardens in lieu of zoning regulations. He also said a business cannot receive a license from the city if any of its activities conflict with any law, state or federal.
Pilcher said he was not aware the business had opened until the Reporter had inquired about it. He said they are currently investigating the matter.
“Right at this point we’re looking into it and deciding ‘Where do we go from here?” he said. “We made it clear we can’t issue a business license that had to do with medical marijuana...At this point, when they asked for this business license it was for something that was legal to our code. We issue what state and federal law would also allow.”
Contact Covington Reporter Reporter TJ Martinell at email@example.com or 425-432-1209 ext. 5052.