[photo] Cannabis from Stagecoach Ranch is seen on display during an event
at Harvest, a medical marijuana dispensary in the Inner Richmond District,
in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, November 19, 2016.
SACRAMENTO - California lawmakers want to make it easier for marijuana
dispensaries to pay their taxes, saying many cash-only businesses are
forced to drive long distances with thousands of dollars to make an
That's clearly not safe, said state Sens. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco,
and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, who introduced a bill Tuesday to increase
the number of places where tax and fee payments can be made in California.
[continues 405 words]
A bill has been introduced in the state Legislature that would allow
marijuana users to grow their own supply at home.
Washington is the only state that allows for retail, recreational
marijuana but doesn't also permit cannabis to be grown at home unless by
registered medical patients. The new legislation, HB 1092, introduced
Wednesday by state Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, would change that.
If enacted, all adults (21 and over) would be able to grow up to six
plants on their private premises so long as the yield is no greater than
24 ounces. Homes with more than one adult would be permitted 12 plants for
up to 48 ounces of usable marijuana.
[continues 241 words]
Marijuana is still illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
But Washington voters in 2012 legalized the cultivation, sale and taxation
of recreational marijuana. California voted in November 2016 to do
Will taxes on marijuana help pay high cost of K-12 education funding?
The state's Republican lawmakers have been as slippery as a pig on ice
when it comes to finding dollars to pay for state Supreme Court-ordered
full funding of K-12 education in Washington, a pattern seen Thursday at
The Associated Press' legislative forum.
[continues 515 words]
A study of Washington high school students out Tuesday examining marijuana
use among students in the state two years before and after the vote to
legalize in 2012 finds that marijuana use increased by about 3 percent
among 8th- and 10th-graders over that period.
Conventional wisdom, based on results since marijuana was legalized three
years ago in Colorado, is that availability of legal weed is having little
or no effect on teen's use of the drug.
However, a study of Washington high school students out Tuesday flies
somewhat in the face of prevailing opinion. Examining marijuana use among
students in the state two years before and after the vote to legalize in
2012, it finds that marijuana use increased by about 3 percent among 8th-
and 10th-graders over that period.
[continues 591 words]
TUMWATER, Wash. - Behind the covered windows of a nondescript
two-story building near the Olympia Regional Airport, hundreds of
marijuana plants were flowering recently in the purple haze of 40 LED
It was part of a high-stakes experiment in energy conservation - an
undertaking subsidized by the local electric company. With cannabis
cultivation poised to become a big business in some parts of the
country, power companies and government officials hope it will grow
into a green industry.
The plants here, destined for sale in the form of dried flowers,
joints or edible items, were just a few weeks from harvest and exuding
the potent aroma of a stash room for the Grateful Dead. But the
energy-efficient LED lights were the focus of attention.
[continues 1251 words]
Last week, I wrote about how the new medical marijuana system created
under the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052) shut out many of
Washington State's medical marijuana dispensaries. The law required
that dispensaries obtain a recreational license to continue
operation, but a loophole in the application process created a black
market for dispensary employee pay stubs, allowing new actors to game
the system. I also mentioned that the Washington State Liquor and
Cannabis Board (WSLCB) blindsided applicants by announcing a cap of
222 new licenses late in the application process.
[continues 901 words]
A Loophole in the Recreational License Application Process Created a
Black Market for Dispensary Employee Pay Stubs and Left Longtime
Dispensary Operators in the Dust
A loophole allowed applicants with no background in medical marijuana
to be treated as if they were law-abiding, taxpaying veterans of the industry.
On July 1, when the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052) took
effect, all dispensaries without an I-502 license were forced to shut
down, sending many of the state's medical marijuana patients into a
panic. Patients worry that the recreational market doesn't have
enough medicinal cannabis for their needs and that what is available
is not affordable. Many point to the fact that the Washington State
Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) issued only 222 new retail licenses
to replace more than 1,500 medical marijuana dispensaries.
[continues 820 words]
Little Drama, Lots of Doubts as Washington's Medical Marijuana
Industry Goes Dark
It's not yet clear how many patients will switch to licensed stores,
versus going underground.
Today is the first day on which authorities have vowed to crack down
on medical marijuana dispensaries which lack government-issued
cannabis licenses. Our cover story this week unpacks the history of
that vow. By all appearances, the day has come and gone without any
But patients are still upset about reduced access to their medince.
Ryan Day, who uses cannabis to treat his son's epilepsy, says that
licensed stores lack the kind of cannabis products his son needs.
"The recreational stores aren't carrying the product we need," he
says. "The supply chain is just not there."
[continues 655 words]
On July 1, Washington State's medical marijuana market disappeared.
Here's why the most needy patients will likely suffer.
On July 1, Washington State's medical marijuana dispensaries and
collectives officially closed, leaving only state-licensed
recreational stores to serve patients.
This is a result of the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052),
which is perhaps the most egregious bit of doublespeak ever. The law
does not protect patients. In fact, evidence suggests that it will
put the state's most vulnerable patients at risk.
[continues 1398 words]
This Week, Hundreds of Marijuana Dispensaries Will Be Shuttered.
How did that happen?
The evening of November 6, 2012, will live long in the memories of
many progressive Seattleites. It was a night of raucous celebration
in the heart of Seattle as a singular mass of bodies danced at the
corner of Pike Street and 10th Avenue.
In the tide of humanity, a middle-aged man with a gray beard and a
plaid blue shirt sprayed the crowd around him with champagne.
[continues 3359 words]
YAKIMA, Wash. - As a cousin to marijuana, hemp has long been banned
despite a huge potential for use in a wide range of products,
including clothing, building materials and even shampoo.
But Yakima will soon be at the forefront of the state's efforts to
develop a research program that could lead to a commercial hemp industry.
The state Department of Agriculture plans to hire a Yakima-based
program specialist to help draft and adopt rules needed to create the
program, which is expected to launch in time for the 2017 growing season.
[continues 855 words]
SEATTLE (AP) - With a deadline looming for the merging of
Washington's recreational and medical marijuana markets, cities
around the state are warning unlicensed pot dispensaries to close up shop.
July 1 marks the date when, after nearly two decades of confusion
about the status of medical marijuana, the industry becomes regulated
for the first time. Hundreds of pot shop workers are being certified
as medical marijuana consultants, the Department of Health is
preparing a voluntary registry of patients, and the Liquor and
Cannabis Board has been granting endorsements enabling recreational
marijuana stores to sell for medical use.
[continues 612 words]
Plus, the WSLCB Finally Sets Rules for Acceptable Pesticide Levels
Senator Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) recently added another bill
to his already impressive list of idiotic, regressive policy ideas:
allowing cities to ban pot businesses in places based on preexisting
alcohol impact areas (AIA).
The AIA program, for those who missed that dark chapter of our
state's history, was cooked up in 1999 as a way to fight chronic
street inebriation. Administered by the Washington State Liquor and
Cannabis Board (WSLCB), it bans the sale of certain types of booze
that are especially popular with chronic street drunks.
[continues 904 words]
MARIJUANA legalization in Washington state has, by some measures,
been an immediate success. Criminal charges for marijuana possession
have all but vanished. The once-thriving black market is being
daylighted. And recreational users' wink-and-a-nod exploitation of
the medical-marijuana system is gone.
And legal marijuana is producing gobs of tax revenue to pay for
important state services. The state budget is expected to bank an
eye-popping $1.1 billion in cannabis revenue through 2018.
But the experiment with legalization has other consequences. Last
week, a police investigation into the death of Hamza Warsame, a
smart, ambitious 16-year-old Seattle Central College student,
concluded he likely jumped from a balcony in a panic after smoking
pot for the first time.
[continues 465 words]
Pot-Related Fatal Crashes in Washington Spiked Upward After Marijuana
Was Voted Legal in the Fall of 2012.
For years, the percentage of fatal accidents in which a driver was
high on pot stood at about 8 percent.
But from 2013 to 2014, the number of marijuana-related crashes
doubled, according to a study by the AAA Foundation of the AAA auto club.
The increase occurred even before pot was available legally in retail
pot shops in Washington in July 2014, said Jennifer Cook, a
spokeswoman for AAA in Seattle.
[continues 355 words]
Two years ago, Washington State began an unprecedented policy
experiment by allowing large-scale production and sale of
recreational marijuana to the public. The effects on public health
and safety and on the relationship of law enforcement to minority
communities will take years to manifest fully, but one impact has
become abundantly clear: Legalized marijuana is getting very cheap
Marijuana price data from Washington's Liquor and Cannabis Board was
aggregated by Steve Davenport of the Pardee RAND Graduate School and
Jonathan Caulkins, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. After a
transitory rise in the first few months, which Davenport attributes
to supply shortages as the system came online, both retail prices and
wholesale prices have plummeted. Davenport said that prices "are now
steadily falling at about 2 percent per month. If that trend holds,
prices may fall 25 percent each year going forward."
[continues 267 words]
After Legalization, the Law Now Requires That Any Sample Used As
Evidence in an Adult Case Be Tested for THC Levels.
EVERETT - Sure, marijuana is legal now, for the most part.
However, enough criminal cases still involve the drug that the
Washington State Patrol has increased the number of scientists with
special training needed to analyze its chemical compounds, from one
to seven. None of them work at the lab in Snohomish County.
Before legalization, any Snohomish County police department could do
a quick field test to scientifically confirm that seized plant
materials were, in fact, marijuana. That step is required for
prosecution. That so-called "leaf test" was standard since the 1970s,
said George Johnston, a manager for the state crime laboratory.
[continues 401 words]
Number of Financial Institutions Willing to Handle Pot Money Rise
SALEM, Ore. (AP) - In a once-empty office in Oregon's Department of
Revenue headquarters, officials have created a mini-fortress.
Recently hired workers sit behind bulletproof glass at a window
inaccessible to the public. Police officers brought out of retirement
roam the building with handguns on their hips. Security cameras
monitor the hallways.
The changes, paid for with a $3.5 million budget and prompted by the
state's newly legal marijuana industry, are similar to those that
Colorado and Washington made for accepting huge cash payments of pot
taxes from businesses historically blocked from banking.
[continues 763 words]
Hit $5 Million in March
But Beer Sales Still Come Out on Top
Legal marijuana sales in Spokane County topped retail sales of wine
and kitchen staples such as bread and milk last year.
That's according to sales numbers from the Washington Liquor and
Cannabis Board and a survey of household expenses by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Not all marijuana sold in Spokane County is consumed by county
residents. State law allows the 17 state-licensed pot shops in the
area to sell to anyone older than 21, regardless of where they live.
[continues 514 words]
SPOKANE (AP) - The amount of money spent on legal marijuana sales in
Spokane County last year was larger than the retail sales of wine,
bread or milk.
That's according to sales numbers from the Washington Liquor and
Cannabis Board and a survey of household expenses conducted by the
U.S. Census Bureau.
Monthly sales of pot topped $5 million in Spokane County for the
first time in March, which is on track to top receipts at area
bookstores, museums and live music venues, according to figures
released by the Washington Department of Revenue.
[continues 291 words]
Regarding the guest commentary, "Treatment, not punishment, will
limit opioid problems": States that end cannabis (marijuana)
prohibition are in a better position to help lower opioid addiction
and death rates compared to states that perpetuate cannabis
prohibition. Citizens may use opiates for chronic pain, which may
lead to various addiction scenarios. Cannabis has shown to treat
chronic pain, and in states where cannabis has been completely
re-legalized, citizens may purchase the plant over the counter
without a doctor's permission slip. It's a potential win-win
situation that should be promoted.
Truthfully, Stan White Dillon, Colorado
Local officials are showing interest in making Seattle the first U.S.
city to offer a medically supervised site for drug use, which
advocates say could reduce overdose deaths, disease transmission and
discarded needles on the ground.
Seattle could become the first city in the U.S. with a public site
where users can inject and smoke hard drugs under medical supervision.
One local group plans to open a bare-bones safe-consumption site on a
shoestring budget as soon as possible, while another group has
launched an awareness campaign to build support among politicians and
[continues 1238 words]
President Obama did something remarkable this week. For the first
time, a president talked about drug addiction in America without
talking about prosecution, mandatory minimums or a war on drugs.
For the first time, a president talked about a new approach to
addiction - an approach rooted in being smart on treatment instead of
just tough on crime. His plan would invest $1.1 billion to provide
treatment and fight the national opioid epidemic, which he said is
[continues 717 words]
The news seemed almost anachronistic in this era of relaxed
ordinances and attitudes about marijuana. Last week, law enforcement
officials announced that illegal marijuana production in Washington
state has plummeted - even though large numbers of plants still
flourish on the state's public lands.
But the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana are legal in
this state, right? So why does it matter? It matters because
not-so-savory elements are involved in the state's massive illegal
grows, It also matters to maintain the structure of the state's
marijuana legalization - given the flaws of a law that expands the
availability of an intoxicating substance and runs afoul of federal law.
[continues 371 words]
In August 1988, a middle-aged drug counselor named David Purchase
started handing out needles to junkies in Tacoma. He thus began the
first needle exchange program in the U.S.-and became a criminal,
since distributing drug paraphernalia was a misdemeanor under state law.
As needle exchanges caught on, critics, including the first President
Bush, objected that the program tacitly condoned illicit drug use.
Purchase didn't care. AIDS deaths in the U.S. alone numbered in the
tens of thousands. "We're going to keep doing what we do," he told
The New York Times. "Our goal is to save lives," he said, even if
that meant jail time.
[continues 750 words]
AMERICA is in the grip of a prescription-drug-abuse crisis. More than
40 people die every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids.
That number equals more than 165,000 opioid-overdose deaths since
1999, a baseline year that marks the quadrupling of opioids
prescribed and sold to date. Or as the federal Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention notes in its statistics, in 2013 alone enough
prescriptions were written for every American adult to have a bottle of pills.
Many Americans suffer from pain, but the use and abuse of
prescription opioids have soared past those receiving active cancer,
palliative and end-of-life care.
[continues 328 words]
AS parents, it's our absolute worst fear. For Lisa, it began when her
6-month-old daughter Cynthia was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a
rare form of epilepsy.
Her child's small body would spend the next five-plus years racked
daily by punishing, life-threatening seizures - until Lisa discovered
that a cannabis tincture could control the neurological disease that
would otherwise cause her daughter's death. Today, Cynthia is 9 and
is an energetic and vivacious little girl.
When Washingtonians legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2012,
consumers were assured safe products. But as The Seattle Times
recently reported, fines are now being levied by the Washington State
Liquor Cannabis Board (LCB) against two major cannabis producers for
using illegal pesticides. I was distressed to learn one of the
businesses in violation markets cannabis medicines for children just
[continues 487 words]
New Rules in 2 States Could Attract Major Outside Investors.
SEATTLE - When the legal pot industry began to boom in Washington
state, big-money investors predicted the cannabis trade in the
Northwest would soon be the darling of corporate America.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox appeared at a Seattle news
conference in 2013 along with pot entrepreneur Jamen Shively, who
laid out plans to create the first national brand of marijuana and
promised Big Tobacco-like growth.
"Yes," he said, "we are Big Marijuana."
[continues 1123 words]
Our family has been touched, some may say fractured, by heroin.
We have a 23-year-old grandson who is in a sober living house after
several treatment attempts, and a granddaughter, age 20, who is in
rehab for the fifth time. We also have a nephew, age 49, who is
serving a 17-year sentence in federal prison for transporting heroin
across state lines while possessing a firearm.
Their stories are more complicated than outlined above, but heroin
has had a traumatic effect on our family and on the relationships
between the nonaddicted family members.
[continues 148 words]
I have suffered from chronic pain for 24 years.
I use opiates to help control the pain so I can have some quality of
life, so that I can be married, care for my father and friends,
volunteer and do my work. The fact that people abuse opioids has made
it more difficult for people who need them, like me, to get them. It
makes me angry that there is so much attention on the addicts and so
little on others who need these meds but are shamed and denied.
[continues 132 words]
My brother, Michael, suffered a lot of pain from a back injury
related to a car accident in his 30s. His was prescribed opioids,
which quickly became an addiction that ruled his adult life. He was
in denial and refused help. He never had a problem finding drugs, and
I don't mean illegally.
His doctors were more than happy to fill his requests for more. Due
partially to his addiction, he lost his home, his business and some
friends along the way. He became a bit of a hermit, and we often lost
contact with him. Michael died two years ago. He was only 59. The
damage to his body that caused his death was mostly due to his opioid
[continues 101 words]
This week, the federal government published the first national
standards for prescription painkillers, recommending that doctors try
pain relievers like ibuprofen before prescribing the highly addictive
pills. The Seattle Times recently asked readers to share their
stories about heroin and opioid addiction, and also weigh in on
safe-injection sites and other possible solutions.
Have opioids touched you or your family? Share your thoughts here.
EVERETT - The Everett City Council has said "no more" to would-be
On Wednesday the council imposed a cap on the number of shops
operating in the city, limiting the number to the five shops already
open. The cap will last a minimum of two years.
The 4-2 vote came after weeks of debate that was thought to have been
put to rest after the city adopted its "permanent" ordinance last July.
What changed since then was the state Liquor and Cannabis Board's
decision to double the number of retail shops allowed in each
municipality, an attempt to compensate for the fact that most medical
marijuana dispensaries across the state are being shut down mid-year.
[continues 596 words]
MONROE - Pot smokers won't get to prove they're no couch potatoes, at
least not for now. A 5K run aimed at having those involved in
marijuana businesses, users and people who don't partake, huffing
along together Saturday has been called off.
The Farewell to Prohibition 5K at the Evergreen Speedway was to
include live music and information booths about the pot industry as
part of the after-race festivities.
Former beauty-pageant queen Crystal Newton, of Monroe, said she spent
thousands of dollars and many hours putting together the festival.
But her efforts went up in smoke Wednesday.
[continues 432 words]
The next new idea in drug policy reform is a good idea, writes
columnist Jonathan Martin
The Seattle area is the nation's incubator for the anti-war on drugs.
Well before pot became legal, the nation's first needle exchange
opened in these parts in 1988. The 1811 Eastlake housing project,
which allows alcoholics to keep drinking, helped make Seattle's
"Housing First" model official federal policy. And a Seattle police
social-services diversion for low-level drug dealers is being copied
around the country.
[continues 742 words]
As a new task force convenes to address the region's heroin epidemic,
King County residents should prepare to support numerous options for
treating a growing number of addicts.
THE horrendous effects of heroin addiction can be felt everywhere,
from homeless encampments under bridges and on the streets of
glittering downtown Seattle to rural communities throughout the state.
Maintaining the status quo is not an option. Nor is simply blaming
people who are dealing with addiction. The only way to address this
public health crisis - and to end the death spiral for some - is to
acknowledge the scope of the problem and to be open to exploring new
approaches to treatment.
[continues 374 words]
There was a time when Penny LeGate couldn't bear to hear her own
And yet, there she was last week, glued to her computer screen,
watching as Sen. Patty Murray stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate
and cited LeGate's girl, Marah Williams - and her death at 19 from a
heroin overdose in 2012 - in urging the passage of the Comprehensive
Addiction and Recovery Act.
The legislation, if passed, would tackle prescription-drug abuse and
heroin addiction by cutting down the "inappropriate" use of pain
medication that leads to addiction. It also would make it easier for
people to safely dispose of medication and would give police access
to naloxone, which can counteract the effects of an overdose.
[continues 379 words]
And Other Marijuana News
Don't Expect to See Legal Pot Delivered to Your Doorstep Anytime Soon
The bill from Representative Chris Hurst (D-Enumclaw) that would have
set up a pilot program allowing for delivery service by
state-licensed cannabis retailers failed to meet the house's February
26 voting cutoff on policy bills.
According to Hurst, it wasn't popular with certain parts of Seattle's
pot industry, which didn't trust the Washington State Liquor and
Cannabis Board to implement it fairly. Despite these woes, Hurst told
me, the bill could still make it, as it has a fiscal component and
could be voted on as part of the budget process.
[continues 767 words]
The Jan. 22 letter, "Bill creates new pot black market," takes issue
with Senate bill 6207, which exempts from public disclosure some
information contained within marijuana licensing records. As chief of
enforcement for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, I
would like to clarify that the intent of the legislation would
protect only a small amount of information from being released publicly.
The bill specifically targets information such as the licensee's
personal financial and retirement statements, shipment information
for licensed deliveries, including vehicle identification, and
building security information. Releasing this information to the
public could potentially increase the risk for theft, fraud and the
illegal diversion of marijuana.
[continues 143 words]
EVERETT - The Everett City Council has reopened debate on its
marijuana ordinance and is sending it back to the city's planning
commission for a second look.
After Initiative 502 legalized recreational pot businesses in
Washington in late 2012, Everett passed a series of six month
emergency ordinances to govern where retail shops were located while
the city's staff and city council could study and debate the issue.
The city adopted its permanent ordinance in July 2015, but given the
latest actions, "permanent" turned out to mean seven months.
[continues 371 words]
It's easy to forget Washington was the first state to legalize
marijuana, because Colorado was quicker to actually open pot shops.
Media hordes descended on the story in the summer of 2014, with
hometown paper The Denver Post leading the way.
Now, Colorado gets more special attention on the silver screen. The
documentary "Rolling Papers" looks at the state's legalization
experience through the eyes and ears of Denver Post reporters and editors.
The film barrels through about a year of the newspaper's marijuana
coverage and wonders: Could covering pot save the failing newspaper business?
[continues 255 words]
Opposes Marijuana Shops in City
Says Problems Not Worth Tax Revenue
YAKIMA - Even though marijuana can be legally bought just down the
road, Yakima's top cop wants to keep marijuana shops out of his city.
"I don't see anything positive coming out of it," police Chief
Dominic Rizzi Jr. said of a proposal to allow retail sales of
marijuana in Yakima.
Rizzi sees any financial benefits to the city outweighed by increases
in crime and other problems related to addiction.
[continues 713 words]
After a Spate of Recalls in Denver, Should Users Be Worried? It's
Hard to Say. Because Marijuana Is Still Illegal in Most Places,
There's No Official "Safe Level" of Pesticides.
Despite fining two marijuana growers and suspending the licenses of
two others for using unapproved pesticides, Washington state hasn't
recalled any products for pesticides during the 18 months that legal
pot sales have been allowed.
The city of Denver, by comparison, recently recalled 19 pot products
for pesticides in 19 weeks.
[continues 1200 words]
AMERICA is suffering from a pernicious and growing addiction to a
category of drugs that include prescription pain medications and heroin.
Opioid abuse and overdoses take a lethal toll in Washington and
across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
puts the U.S. death count at 28,648 for 2014.
President Obama's welcome, if belated, response to this crisis would
direct $460 million toward states to dramatically expand access to
medication-assisted treatment for opioid abuse.
As the University of Washington's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute
noted in a 2015 online briefing, medication-assisted treatment "can
be a lifesaving and cost-saving intervention for those with opioid
[continues 310 words]
Just after Uncle Ike's Pot Shop opened in Seattle's Central District,
it boasted in an ad, "Our weed cures Ebola."
Knowing that merchants in the new industry weren't allowed to make
any medical claims about pot, the fine print disclaimer winked: "If
you believe this ad, you are a (expletive) moron."
That in-your-face Vern Fonk-on-weed sensibility has helped make Uncle
Ike's the state's top-selling pot store, with $1.4 million in monthly sales.
[continues 1955 words]
Several longtime Seattle medical-marijuana businesses filed a lawsuit
Friday against the state Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) alleging
that regulators are not following their own rules in issuing a new
round of licenses for retail stores.
At issue is the process of bringing medical businesses into the
state's licensed recreational-retail system. The Legislature last
year gave the LCB authority to license new stores, with priority
given to longtime medical players seen as good actors, in following
rules and paying taxes.
[continues 395 words]
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and City Attorney Pete Holmes on Tuesday
announced their support for legislation to create a program to test
legal pot-delivery services.
State legislators are mulling a proposal to establish a two-year
pilot program that would allow five licensed recreational marijuana
stores in the state to deliver marijuana to Washington residents over
the age of 21.
"Creating an equivalent legal form of delivery will provide a safe
alternative for adults to use, while helping prevent those under 21
from acquiring marijuana," says a city-sponsored bulletin.
[continues 106 words]
A thriving network of unlicensed marijuana-delivery services makes a
mockery of Initiative 502's important goal of ending the black market.
WASHINGTON'S landmark effort to legalize and tax marijuana, now three
years old, is finally gaining steady footing. Without federal
interference, 197 retail marijuana stores are operating statewide,
and state regulators are running checks for underage sales. Finally,
the unregulated medical-marijuana market is being folded into the
licensed, regulated system.
But the goal of crushing the illicit market - the one that readily
sells to kids - is still a pipe dream. In fact, the black market is
open and thriving in Seattle, in the form of marijuana-delivery services.
[continues 457 words]
The opening of a local marijuana shop brings up some interesting
issues surrounding the sale of the drug in the state.
Yakima resident John Larson recently opened Sticky's Pot Shop in
Hazel Dell, which is an unincorporated portion of Clark County. This
violates the county's moratorium upon marijuana businesses, which
were approved statewide by voters with passage of Initiative 502 in
2012. Larson, who previously had lost a court challenge against the
county's moratorium, applied for a certificate of occupancy for a
store that would sell "novelties, crafts, collectibles and general
merchandise." There was no mention of marijuana on the application.
[continues 477 words]
Reduced Buffers in Some Places
City, State at Odds Over New Licenses
Legal pot businesses would be allowed in more parts of Seattle under
rules approved Monday by the City Council.
Mayor Ed Murray proposed relaxing state-imposed buffers between pot
shops and some sensitive areas, such as parks and arcades. As
required by state law, the buffers would remain at 1,000 feet between
pot businesses and schools and playgrounds.
Murray's aim was to accommodate new shops the state will license as
it tries to fold medical-marijuana dispensaries into its system for
recreational stores, while trying to keep them from clustering.
[continues 509 words]