Category Archives: Licensing

CLPP hosted delegation from Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority

By Sam Méndez, Executive Director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

Late last month the Cannabis Law & Policy Project had the pleasure of hosting Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority (JCLA) here at UW Law to have a conversation with a few local experts about cannabis legalization. They were brought to us by Washington Office for Latin America’s John Walsh, and we were joined by attorneys Mitzi Hensley Vaughn (Greenbridge Corporate Counsel), Christine Masse (Miller Nash Graham & Dunn), and Robert McVay (Harris Moure). The full list of the JCLA representatives are below.

© Cannabis Law & Policy Project

© Cannabis Law & Policy Project


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Big Changes to WA MMJ Rules Come Online July 1

By Jeff Bess, third-year student at the University of Washington School of Law.

File:Discount Medical Marijuana - 2.jpg

Say goodbye to the familiar green cross.

Big changes are coming to medical marijuana in Washington state beginning tomorrow, July 1st. That is when the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (CPPA), passed by the state legislature in 2015, will come into full effect. The law, which has been gradually rolled out since its passage, is the culmination of efforts to fold Washington’s medical marijuana program – established in 1998 – into the recreational system created following the passage of I-502 in 2012. The changes mark a profound shift in the regulation of medical marijuana in Washington that will result in a fundamentally different marketplace with significant ramifications for medical marijuana patients, producers, and dispensaries.

In the short-term, the transition will likely be rocky. The most immediate effect of the new rules will be the closure of nearly all existing medical dispensaries in Washington. This is because medical marijuana dispensaries were largely unregulated under prior law and not required to be licensed by the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). Now, in order to reopen, medical marijuana dispensaries will have to go through the licensure process and conform to the same strict regulations as recreational dispensaries – a potentially significant hurdle for medical operations used to the informal status quo and unfamiliar with the process. Though LCB has already issued a number of licenses to “medically endorsed dispensaries” (a new term of art found in the CPPA), it will take time before they are up and running and even longer to match the output of the previous system. In the meantime, medical marijuana patients will have to go to licensed recreational dispensaries or continue to produce their own marijuana in accordance with state law.

Once the dust settles, here is what to expect:

New limits on medical marijuana sources and suppliers:

  • Medically endorsed marijuana stores must be licensed by the LCB
  • Additional restrictions on collective gardens authorized under earlier law

New marijuana taxes. Medical marijuana patients should note that, while they may be exempt from sales and use taxes, they will still be subject to the 37% excise tax on all marijuana products. Customers of medically endorsed marijuana stores are, however, exempted from certain taxes as follows:

  • No sales tax is due on medical marijuana purchases of products purchased by patients with a Washington medical marijuana card and a condition approved by the Department of Health (DOH)
  • No sales tax is due on medical marijuana purchases of low-THC products purchased by patients with a Washington medical marijuana card
  • No sales tax is due on medical marijuana purchases of high CBD products purchased by any patient

For more information on the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, check out Governor Jay Inslee’s FAQ and LCB’s information page on the law.


Photo by O’Dea, used under Creative Commons License.

Something in the Air – Cannabis & Clean Air Policies

By Sam Mendez, Executive Director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project

Recently, the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board (LCB) sent out an email on behalf of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA), a regional government agency tasked with keeping the Puget Sound’s air clean. The email reminds producers and processors of marijuana in the region that in order to operate they must submit a Notice of Construction (NOC) application to obtain an Order of Approval from the PSCAA.

Cannabis is a very different product from tobacco, with it’s own regulatory structure to boot. But businesses in both industries have to abide by state and federal clean air rules, just as individuals smoking either product have to abide by public smoking rules. In King County, which includes Seattle, use of vaporizers in public is banned as well.


Credit: Puget Sound Clean Air Agency

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Washington State Adopts Marijuana Recall Rules

By Daniel Shortt 


On March 23, 2016, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) revised draft marijuana rules and adopted emergency rules. The LCB’s rulemaking is part of its continued effort to implement the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, which requires the LCB and the Department of Health  regulate medical marijuana.

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Comments on Mexico’s National Debate on Marijuana Legalization, Part 1

By Sam Mendez, Executive Director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project


The following reflects the views of the author and not necessarily that of the Cannabis Law & Policy Project or the University of Washington.

Last Friday I had the privilege of presenting to the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR), an office of the Mexican government in Mexico City, to provide a Washington perspective to their debate on marijuana legalization. As you may have heard, late last year the Mexican Supreme Court ruled in favor of four plaintiffs asserting the right to consume marijuana. What struck me the most about that case was that the plaintiffs weren’t asserting any medical necessity arguments. Instead, the plaintiffs argued that marijuana contributed to who they were as a person and thus had the right to consume it. While in their favor, the ruling was restricted to those four plaintiffs, and thus nothing changed for the rest of the country. Still, the Court seemed intent on sparking a national debate, which is exactly what it did. Continue reading

Washington State Cannabis News

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


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.

Vermont May Legalize Recreational Cannabis

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

Image used under the Creative Commons license.

Vermont, home state of presidential Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, currently has a senate bill that would legalize small amounts of marijuana for recreational use and create a framework for retail sales. Senate Bill 241 or S.241, recently passed the Committee on Judiciary with a favorable report, and is currently referred to the Committee on Finance. Continue reading

Cannabis Delivery Bill in Washington State

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


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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