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Any Weed Yet in Washington?

Any Weed Yet in Washington?

What’s going on in Washington state? We know all about Colorado’s marijuana industry – how they license growers and dispensaries, what their pot tracking system looks like, and how they define any special rules and regulations.

But Washington? Crickets. At least for the past several months.

The state seems confused. What are the laws? What does it mean for something to be legal when there are no legal means of using it? Then again, what does it mean for something to be legal at the state level but not the federal level? There are no easy answers in the “budding” marijuana industry.

Due to the confusion, and the waiting period between recreational legalization and actual licensing, many Washington cities and counties passed temporary bans on selling marijuana. This has led to confusion regarding medical marijuana dispensaries, which have been operating since the early 2000’s.

According to Roger Roffman, one of the sponsors of Initiative 502, “Many people in the medical marijuana community would ask why they can’t continue to grow on their own or on collective gardens. The other side of the argument is that the way to drive out the illicit market out of business is to close off any routes of access other than the licensed retail outlets, essentially push the illegal and quasi-legal sellers out of business.”

However, Washington has finally pushed ahead in licensing some retailers. More than 2,000 people initially applied for licenses. These were pre-screened in February, and of that number, 1,174 applicants were included in a lottery in 75 jurisdictions in the state. 47 jurisdictions didn’t require lotteries for licensing.

The state Liquor Control Board named 334 legal marijuana retail licenses at the beginning of this month, but some applicants may have additional requirements to complete in order to open their shops this summer – probably beginning mid-July.

We’ll keep watching and waiting, but it seems the pot industry may be picking up in Washington state.

Ryan Herring and Molly Herring stand amid their first crop of recreational marijuana plants on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, near Port Angeles, Wash. Doing business as Peninsula Cannabis, the couple received a license from the Washington State Liquor Control Board to grow and process marijuana for retail sale. The first retail sales are expected to begin in July. (AP Photo)


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