Category Archives: Washington

Washington State Cannabis News

By Jason Liu, second-year stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton School of Law. 

MJ WASH

Here are some recent events happening in Washington State:

Increased Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board Pesticide Investigations

As the Stranger reported, two of Washington’s largest cannabis producers were barred from all sales pending a Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) investigation.  The article details the investigation of New Leaf Enterprises and BMF Washington, LLC for the illegal use of pesticides.

The Stranger requested WSLCB documents through public records requests. The following documents published were:

As the Department of Health is gearing up to release the proposed rules for cannabis products this July, these investigations are signals to Washington State producers that the WSLCB makes pesticide compliance a priority.

New Bill that Proposes Home Cultivation of Cannabis 

House Bill 2629, was introduced in Washington’s House of Representatives to legalize the cultivation of a maximum of six cannabis plants for residents 21 and older. These “home” cultivators may possess up to 24 ounces from the plants.

Originally, in I-502, the bill drafter Allison Holcomb, noted that leaving out home cultivation was meant to minimize the possibility of federal intervention.

Currently, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington D.C. have laws that allow home cultivation. So far, there haven’t been prosecutorial interests by the federal government on these programs. If HB 2629 passes, it will place Washington State in line with the other home cultivation states and provide residents more options for cannabis use.

Washington State Hemp Bill Moving Forward

Senate Bill 6206 proposes the legalization of hemp.  The bill would empower the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) with authority to license hemp farmers, control seed supplies, and enforce restrictions of low levels of THC in cultivated hemp.

Currently, the bill passed the third reading in the Washington State Senate, and is being reviewed by the House committee of Commerce & Gaming.

Washington Department of Health’s Campaign for Educating Parents & Kids

By Sam Mendez, executive director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

Back in mid-2014, the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH) launched an advertising campaign to provide information regarding the state’s new marijuana laws to parents. It included radio ads with expert doctors along with online advertising, both particularly geared towards families of color. A second campaign was launched in early 2015 via transit and print publications. These campaigns were similar to those done in other states, including Oregon’s recent campaign and those done in Colorado.

Ads created by WSDOH aimed to reach parents.

Ads created by WSDOH aimed to reach parents.

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Cannabis Cafes and Clubs – Nuisance or New Thing?

By Sam Mendez, executive director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

In every state that has legalized marijuana, consuming it in public is still illegal. Further, every state besides Alaska has outlawed private cannabis cafes, clubs, and any other establishment in the business of having customers consume marijuana on the premises. Since many landlords don’t allow smoking in their residences, this can leave users that don’t own their own home in a legal bind. Should states allow cannabis clubs?

© Oakland Museum of California

© Oakland Museum of California

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Cannabis Delivery Bill in Washington State

By Jason Liu, second-year stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton School of Law. 

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Today Rep. Cary Condotta (R-East Wenatchee) and Christopher Hurst (D-Enumclaw) sponsored House Bill 2368 (HB 2368) which proposes a pilot cannabis delivery program.  The temporary program creates cannabis delivery endorsements which would be issued to existing cannabis retailers and allows the delivery of cannabis to a resident that is twenty-one or older at a private residence located in a city with a population greater than 650,000 (Seattle is the only city in the state of that size). Under RCW 69.50.382,  only “common carriers” or transporters of cannabis may transport cannabis products between licensed marijuana businesses located within the state.  Thus, the Bill may have a large impact on the current cannabis retailer landscape in Washington State. Continue reading

New Washington Marijuana Rules May Mean Big Changes

By Daniel Shortt 

Photo by Vipul Mathur, used under a Creative Commons license.

Photo by Vipul Mathur, used under a Creative Commons license.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) vote to adopt several proposed rules relating to the State’s cannabis industry.  These rules are the result of the public hearings the WSLCB held across the state late last year.  In an email sent to Washington stakeholders, the WSLCB made the following comments:

“We spent many hours listening to and reviewing public comment,” said Board Chair Jane Rushford. “Since the beginning, this has been and open and transparent process. Today’s revised rules reflect the Board’s continued commitment to transparency and the willingness to listen and make adjustments that may improve the rules.”

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CLPP’s Medical Marijuana Survey

Photo by Wikimedia user Meganp - used under a Creative Commons license.

Photo by Wikimedia user Meganp – used under a Creative Commons license.

 

The University of Washington’s Cannabis Law and Policy Project (CLPP) will be working with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to research the amount of medical marijuana canopy space required to merge the recreational and medical cannabis markets, pursuant to House Bill 5052 and Senate Bill 2136. CLPP will be collecting data from existing dispensaries and collective gardens.

Earlier this month, LCB announced it would be granting an additional 222 retail licenses to accommodate medical marijuana patients as they transition from dispensaries and collective gardens to LCB licensed retail outlets. Those stores will need sufficient cannabis product to provide to patients who have been getting medicine from collective gardens, dispensaries, or the illicit market.

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The People Have Spoken: Washington’s Public Cannabis Hearings

MJ WASHThe Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) is currently creating rules for implementing Senate Bill 5052 (SB 5052) and House Bill 2136 (HB 2136), which unify Washington’s medical and recreational cannabis markets.  The LCB is holding hearings throughout the state where members of the public have the opportunity to present oral testimony to the Board.  The final hearing will take place this evening, November 19, 2015, in Everett.  This post will summarize the hearing that took place on November 16 in Seattle.

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Washington’s Medical Marijuana Product Rules

By Jason Liu, second-year stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton School of Law. 

Photo by Laurie Avocado , used under Creative Commons License.

Photo by Laurie Avocado , used under Creative Commons License.

Previously, we said that the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) issued medical marijuana emer­gency rules on pes­ti­cides, test­ing, safe han­dling, and employee train­ing, while also begin­ning the offi­cial rule mak­ing process.  Here, we will discuss why the DOH is tasked with making these rules and what the current emergency rules mean.

Why is the DOH Issuing Medical Marijuana Rules?

Recently, the Washington State Legislature delegated rulemaking authority to the DOH.  Senate Bill 5052 (link) was drafted to harmonize the regulations between medical and recreational cannabis. In part, the bill was a response to concerns about product standards for medical marijuana, the rationale being that patients seeking medical marijuana to treat a malady may have compromised immune systems.  Regulating medical marijuana is an added protection for potentially vulnerable  patients.

Under Senate Bill 5052, the DOH is tasked with issuing the safe handling and testing practices of medical marijuana.The bill states that “medical specific regulations [will] be adopted as needed and under consultation of the departments of health and agriculture so that safe handling practices will be adopted and so that testing standards for medical products meet or exceed those standards in use in the recreational market.” Continue reading

Stakeholder Meetings for Washington State Marijuana Product Regulations

By Jason Liu, second-year stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton School of Law. 

Now is a critical time for the public to comment on Washington State marijuana product compliance regulations that will come effect in 2016. Per an email sent out by the Department of Health (DoH):

“On October 5, 2015, the Department of Health filed emergency rules related to requirements for certain marijuana products. These rules are required by 2SSB 5052 (section 10) and 2ESSHB 2136 (section 207) to ensure patients have access to tested, reliable products after the medical and regulated markets are merged on July 1, 2016.”

DoH has issued emergency rules on pesticides, marijuana testing, safe handling, and employee training, while also beginning the official rule making process. The public comment period for the rule making has begun and stakeholder meetings are being scheduled. More information on the DoH rule making process generally can be found here.

This a critical opportunity to preview DoH’s expectations on marijuana product standards and ask questions regarding the potential impacts on producers, processors, and retailers.

Cannabis Law 101: Legal* Marijuana in Washington State

In 2012, Washington voters passed Initiative 502 (I-502), establishing legal marijuana for recreational use. However, the term “legal marijuana” is a misnomer. Marijuana is not ever truly legal in the United States as the Federal Controlled Substance Act (CSA) explicitly prohibits the possession or sale of marijuana. The CSA classifies controlled substances in a series of schedules, with Schedule I substances seen to have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. 21 U.S.C.A. § 812(b)(1). Marijuana is classified under Schedule I and remains illegal under federal law.

Photo by Nicolas Raymond, used under Creative Commons License

Photo by Nicolas Raymond, used under Creative Commons License

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