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Posts for Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Ballot Measures Part 2: Forms of Government, Marijuana Bans, and Non-Revenue Measures

Ballot Measures Part 2: Forms of Government, Marijuana Bans, and Non-Revenue Measures

November 13, 2017 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections , Forms of Government-City , Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Senior Communications Coordinator Steve Hawley recaps some of the non-revenue ballot measures in the general election, including Shelton abandoning its commission form of government, Port Angeles retaining its code city classification, and voters expressing support for existing marijuana bans.

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“Unconfusing” Marijuana Tax Distribution

“Unconfusing” Marijuana Tax Distribution

October 24, 2016 by Jim Doherty
Category: Revenues , Recreational and Medical Marijuana

RCW 69.50.540, the statute that provides the details on marijuana excise tax appropriations and distributions, is confusing. Here’s my attempt to provide a compressed, simplified version of the statute.

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Recreational and Medical Marijuana Systems Merge on July 1!

Recreational and Medical Marijuana Systems Merge on July 1!

June 3, 2016 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

July 1 will mark a major shift in the state’s development of a regulated marijuana market. On that date, there will no longer be both a strictly regulated recreational marijuana system and an almost totally unregulated medical marijuana system. Instead, the two systems will merge into one fairly coherent and consistent system under the jurisdiction of the state Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). So, effective July 1, any and all marijuana sales throughout the state that do not take place through state-licensed retail stores will be clearly illegal.

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Zoning for Marijuana – What Are Jurisdictions Doing and How Is It Working?

Zoning for Marijuana – What Are Jurisdictions Doing and How Is It Working?

February 10, 2016 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Cities and counties have the authority to zone for licensed marijuana businesses as they deem appropriate, subject to the 1,000-foot buffer zones around certain uses established in RCW 69.50.331(8)(a), which cities and counties now may reduce in size, except for those around schools and parks. See RCW 69.50.331(8)(b). They may even prohibit such businesses entirely, at least according to the attorney general’s office and the five superior courts that have so far addressed the issue. So, how have cities and counties approached their authority to zone for this new land use?

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State-Licensed Marijuana Industry Morphing and Growing

State-Licensed Marijuana Industry Morphing and Growing

December 23, 2015 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

As the transition of the state-licensed marijuana industry continues, the LCB recently issued a recommendation for a substantial increase in the number of retail stores throughout much of the state.

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The Maturing Marijuana Industry in the State of Washington

The Maturing Marijuana Industry in the State of Washington

September 17, 2015 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

An update on what's going on in the recreational marijuana industry.

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Final Marijuana Legislation for 2015

Final Marijuana Legislation for 2015

July 2, 2015 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

On June 30, Governor Inslee signed 2E2SHB 2136 -- another significant piece of legislation amending the state’s marijuana regulatory system. The legislation is 61 pages long and contains provisions that are important for local governments, for individuals operating licensed marijuana businesses, and for medical marijuana users.

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State Supreme Court Says Cities Can Ban Collective Gardens, but the Legislature is Replacing Them with Medical Marijuana Cooperatives

State Supreme Court Says Cities Can Ban Collective Gardens, but the Legislature is Replacing Them with Medical Marijuana Cooperatives

May 21, 2015 by Bob Meinig
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

The Washington State Supreme Court today issued a decision (Cannabis Action Coalition v. City of Kent) upholding the constitutionality of the city of Kent’s ordinance banning collective gardens as a valid exercise of the city’s zoning authority. But, in a related development, the Washington State Legislature . . .

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Medical Marijuana Reform Legislation Enacted

Medical Marijuana Reform Legislation Enacted

May 14, 2015 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Here’s a toast to the Washington State Legislature! On Friday, April 24, Governor Jay Inslee approved, with several section vetoes, Second Substitute Senate Bill 5052 (2SSB 5052), which significantly revamps the entire medical marijuana structure in Washington.

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Recreational and Medical Marijuana in Washington State – Looking Back at 2014 and Ahead to 2015

Recreational and Medical Marijuana in Washington State – Looking Back at 2014 and Ahead to 2015

January 7, 2015 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Last year, 2014, will be remembered as the year that the recreational marijuana industry in Washington State started operations. Recreational marijuana is now being grown and processed at various licensed locations throughout the state, and it is available in licensed retail stores in many cities and counties. The transition has been gradual – many cities and some counties are still on the sidelines, and some have opted out entirely. See our map for a comprehensive picture, with links to the current local government zoning ordinances or other documents for details. The national trend is toward more expansive availability, as is evidenced by two more states (Oregon and Alaska) joining Washington and Colorado in the shift to a regulated marijuana market.

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Second Superior Court Ruling Upholds City Pot Ban, and Other Pot News

Second Superior Court Ruling Upholds City Pot Ban, and Other Pot News

October 22, 2014 by Bob Meinig
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Recreational and Medical Marijuana

A Chelan County Superior Court judge issued a ruling last week that upheld the City of Wenatchee’s moratorium on the issuance of permits for the production and sale of marijuana and its business licensing provision, as applied to marijuana businesses, that licenses may not be issued for activities that are unlawful under federal law. This ruling follows on the heels of a similar ruling in August..

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Superior Court Decision on Fife Pot Ban

September 2, 2014 by Jim Doherty
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Recreational and Medical Marijuana

On Friday, August 29th, the Pierce County Superior Court issued an oral ruling, after the attorneys made their arguments, that the City of Fife has the authority to ban all  marijuana businesses. In essence, the judge agreed with the basic analysis given by the Attorney General in AGO 2014 No. 2 in January.
Because the court ruled in the city's favor on this local option issue, there was no...

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Marijuana Update: Litigation and Licensed Businesses Slowly Begin Operating

Marijuana Update: Litigation and Licensed Businesses Slowly Begin Operating

August 20, 2014 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

It's taken a while (over 19 months since I-502 became effective), but marijuana crops are being harvested and processed and more stores are opening, all against a backdrop of...

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Washington Jurisdictions Mostly Cautious on Zoning for Retail Marijuana

Washington Jurisdictions Mostly Cautious on Zoning for Retail Marijuana

August 4, 2014 by Josh Mahar
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana , Development Regulations and Zoning

With a lot of questions surrounding the best ways to approach recreational marijuana, MRSC has been keeping a close eye on how different jurisdictions are implementing...

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Pot Stores Are Opening Amid Concerns About Infused Products (Not Yet on the Shelves)

Pot Stores Are Opening Amid Concerns About Infused Products (Not Yet on the Shelves)

July 10, 2014 by Bob Meinig
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

The Liquor Control Board (LCB) has begun issuing licenses for retail marijuana stores, though against a backdrop of public concern involving marijuana edibles, particularly concerns about access of children to pot-laced candy.

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Wenatchee Marijuana Litigation Update (Corrected)

June 30, 2014 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

On the evening of the day that our prior blog article regarding the Wenatchee and Centralia lawsuits was posted (June 26th), the Wenatchee city council considered changing the city’s business licensing ordinance to delete the requirement that all businesses in the city be compliant with federal law - a significant issue in the lawsuit filed against the city. That amendment was tabled, but the...

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Wenatchee and Centralia Sued on Recreational Marijuana Issues

June 25, 2014 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

It took a while, but it looks like the courts in Washington are going to start tackling some of the difficult issues raised by conflicts between state, local, and federal laws regarding recreational marijuana.
The City of Wenatchee rejected an ordinance last October (by a 4-3 vote) that would have allowed recreational marijuana businesses within the city. In April of this year, SMP Retail...

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The Uncharted Fiscal Waters of Legalizing Marijuana in Washington State

June 1, 2014 by FCS GROUP
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana , Finance Advisor

In November 2012, Washington and Colorado voters both passed statewide initiatives allowing marijuana to be grown, processed, and sold for adult recreational usage, setting those states on course for uncharted fiscal territory. Seventeen other states are now considering ...

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Marijuana Concentrates – New Legislation

April 30, 2014 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Though the 2014 Legislature failed to come to agreement on many issues related to the state medical marijuana and recreational marijuana laws, there was one exception: ESHB 2304. The legislation deals primarily with marijuana concentrates, but it also adds a public records act exemption for specified ...

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Our Legislature Talks Marijuana, But That

Our Legislature Talks Marijuana, But That's All (Sigh)

March 26, 2014 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana


This was supposed to be the year that the Legislature finally sorted out the absurdity of having a highly-regulated recreational marijuana market alongside an unregulated medical...

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Update on Marijuana Licensing

Update on Marijuana Licensing

February 20, 2014 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

The state Liquor Control Board (LCB) issued a statement on February 19th clarifying its next licensing steps. In two accompanying documents, a summary of the status of marijuana licensing and an FAQ on licensing, the board...

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State Attorney General Says Cities and Counties Can Ban Recreational Marijuana Uses

State Attorney General Says Cities and Counties Can Ban Recreational Marijuana Uses

January 16, 2014 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

On January 16th, the state Attorney General's Office issued a formal opinion concluding that Initiative 502 does not preempt counties, cities, and towns from banning recreational marijuana businesses -  producers, processors,...

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Local and State Permits Required for Licensed Marijuana Businesses

Local and State Permits Required for Licensed Marijuana Businesses

December 12, 2013 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

The state Liquor Control Board is doing its best to inform prospective marijuana business applicants of the types of permits that they will need in order to comply with both local and state laws and regulations. Three "fact sheets" - one for outdoor marijuana producers, one for indoor marijuana producers, and one for marijuana processors -...

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Local Government Authority and the New Marijuana Industry

November 13, 2013 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

On November 5th, the state attorney general’s office posted a notice of a request for an opinion from Sharon Foster, chair of the state Liquor Control Board, regarding the authority of local governments - cities and counties - to directly or indirectly prohibit recreational marijuana uses in their jurisdictions. The purpose of the notice is to seek public input on the requested opinion. Here are...

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Marijuana Buffer Rule Modified

Marijuana Buffer Rule Modified

September 16, 2013 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Under pressure from the federal government, the state Liquor Control Board (LCB) announced on September 13th that its proposed regulation regarding the 1,000 foot buffer between marijuana businesses and certain types of facilities will be...

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Marijuana Regulations Released with the Numbers

September 4, 2013 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Many jurisdictions have been waiting to see the details of the revised marijuana regulations proposed by the state Liquor Control Board. Well, check them out!
The Liquor Control Board has also, in a separate document (Excel spreadsheet), released the number of retail marijuana licenses that will be issued for each county, and for the primary cities within each county. Check them out too.

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Marijuana - No Federal Roadblocks

Marijuana - No Federal Roadblocks

August 29, 2013 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

On August 29th, the Obama administration, through Attorney General Eric Holder, made it clear that the federal government will not interfere with marijuana regulation in Washington and Colorado if it meets federal concerns over youth access,...

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Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused

August 28, 2013 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

If you're finding the transition to a regulated and taxed recreational marijuana market confusing, you aren't alone! But MRSC and AWC will help you keep track of this significant issue.
On the morning of August 22nd, I spent almost two hours...

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Issuance of Marijuana Rules to be Delayed

Issuance of Marijuana Rules to be Delayed

August 14, 2013 by Bob Meinig
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

In case you haven't already heard, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) will announce that it is delaying issuing the rules to implement the marijuana initiative, I-502. Since the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) has...

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It

It's Really Happening - the Local Marijuana Store

June 27, 2013 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

The voters passed Initiative 502 last November, but perhaps you expected the federal government to step in and stop this “foolishness.” Well, we’re still waiting for any federal response, so it seems that...

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Marijuana Producers, Processors, and Retailers - Where Will They Be Setting Up Shop?

Marijuana Producers, Processors, and Retailers - Where Will They Be Setting Up Shop?

March 5, 2013 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

It’s been almost four months since Washington voters passed Initiative 502 and directed our state to take a “new approach” to adult marijuana use: regulate and tax instead of prohibit. Are you, and your community, still in shock? Have some residents been telling you that they “certainly don’t want any such businesses locating anywhere in _____!!” – while at the same time potential marijuana...

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Letter to Local Government Employees on Marijuana Use After I-502

February 13, 2013 by Pat Mason
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

What should a local government employer say, if anything, to its employees regarding the impact of Initiative 502, which legalized some recreational use of marijuana, on the workplace?
I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago that answered some of the employment-related questions that have arisen after the enactment of Initiative 502, and the main point of that blog was to clarify that the...

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The Marijuana Legalization Law and Public Employer Issues

December 21, 2012 by Pat Mason
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Many questions have emerged concerning the impact and scope of Washington’s voter-approved marijuana law, Initiative 502 (I-502). However, the effect of the initiative in regard to the workplace and personnel policies should be minimal, because the initiative does not change Washington employer’s rights. Keep in mind that I-502 does not legalize marijuana use in the workplace, and that marijuana...

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Initiative 502 - the Marijuana Legalization Initiative - Passed! What Happens Now?

November 7, 2012 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Initiative 502 goes into effect 30 days after the election, on December 6th. After that date,  it will be legal under state law for individuals 21 or older to possess marijuana in designated amounts. Those amounts are: one ounce of useable marijuana; 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form; or 72 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form. See section 15(3) and section 20 of...

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