Four Governors Send Letter to Trump Administration Officials Urging them Respect State Marijuana Laws

Governors from four states have joined forces in sending a letter to Trump Administration officials urging them to support state marijuana laws.

In the letter dated today, Governors Bill Walker (Alaska), John Hickenlooper (Colorado), Kate Brown (Oregon) and Jay Inslee (Washington) begin by asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to “engage with us” before embarking on any changes to regulatory and enforcement systems regarding marijuana.

The governors then protect the Cole Memo, stating that overhauling it is “sure to produce unintended and harmful consequences”. They state that “Changes that hurt the regulated market would divert existing marijuana product into the black market and increase dangerous activity in both our states and our neighboring states”.

Read moreFour Governors Send Letter to Trump Administration Officials Urging them Respect State Marijuana Laws

Washington Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of Hemp Bill

field-of-hemp-2Recently we reported that Washington State Governor Jay Inslee vetoed a bill to legalize industrial hemp for research purposes – in addition to 26 other bills – due to the legislature failing to pass an unrelated budget bill. Now, the legislature has overriden the governor’s veto, enacting the bill into law.

Senate Bill 6206 was given unanimous approval by the state’s House of Representatives, with a 97 to 0 vote. The vote was also overwhelming, though not quite unanimous, in the Senate, with the vote 48 to 1. A two-thirds vote is required to override a governor veto, a number the legislature easily reached.

Read moreWashington Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of Hemp Bill

WA Governor Vetoes Hemp Legalization Bill to Punish Legislators for Something Unrelated

Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

In a perfect example of how to improperly run a state, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has vetoed 27 bills – over 70% of all legislation passed by the state’s legislature this session – to punish lawmakers for something unrelated; not passing a budget bill.

One of the measures vetoed by Inslee – Senate Bill 6206 – would have legalized the cultivation of hemp for research purposes, including directing Washington State University to study the plant. The measure was passed unanimously in the House of Representatives, and 48 to 1 in the Senate. Although the governor calls it a “worthy bill”, he vetoed it and says he can’t support it until “a budget agreement is reached”.

Read moreWA Governor Vetoes Hemp Legalization Bill to Punish Legislators for Something Unrelated

Washington Open Cannabis Container Law Now in Effect

budIn July, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1276, a proposal that makes multiple changes to the state’s impaired driving laws, including explicitly prohibiting open cannabis containers in cars. Now, the law is in full effect, and state police are ramping up efforts to find those breaking the law.

Under the new law, anyone with a cannabis package where the seal has been broken or the contents have been “partially removed” can be ticked with an $136 ticket. This would apply to any cannabis not purchased at a state-licensed store, where packages are sealed and label, given that officers can request that you show them a receipt for your purchase.

Read moreWashington Open Cannabis Container Law Now in Effect

New Side-Effect of Washington’s Marijuana Law: Youth Possession Now a Felony

By Associated Press

A prosecutor in southeastern Washington has charged three teens with felonies for marijuana poteen felonyssession, saying a new law demands the higher level of offense.

The Lewiston Tribune in Idaho reports (http://goo.gl/g8Xhpl) three teens ages 14, 15 and 17 have been charged in nearby Asotin County, Wash., with felonies that could net them up to five years in prison.

The offense was previously a misdemeanor with a maximum 90-day jail sentence.

Read moreNew Side-Effect of Washington’s Marijuana Law: Youth Possession Now a Felony

Multiple Changes to Washington’s Medical Cannabis Law Now in Effect

washington-flagSeveral provisions found in Washington State’s Senate Bill 5052, signed by Governor Jay Inslee in April, go into effect today, July 24th. Although most of the changes are regressive, such as eliminating in-home collective gardens, post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries have been added to the list of qualifying medical cannabis conditions.

One change that goes into effect today is a ban on the use of butane in the production of hash oil, unless the individual or company producing the substance has a license from the state’s Liquor Control Board. This means that currently operating medical cannabis dispensaries will need to cease producing and (unless it was produced before the new law went into effect) selling butane hash oil, commonly referred to as BHO.

Read moreMultiple Changes to Washington’s Medical Cannabis Law Now in Effect

Washington Governor Signs Bill Eliminating Three-Tier Tax Structure on Recreational Cannabis

wapicWashington State Governor Jay Inslee has signed into law a measure that eliminates the state’s three-tier tax structure on recreational cannabis in favor of a single excise tax.

Under current law, recreational cannabis is taxed at three different levels, 25% at each level. Under House Bill 2136, most of which takes effect tomorrow, this system will be replaced with a single 37% tax which would be paid at the point of sale between retailers and their customers.

Read moreWashington Governor Signs Bill Eliminating Three-Tier Tax Structure on Recreational Cannabis

Washington Legislature Passes Recreational Cannabis Reform Bill, Governor Inslee Expected to Sign

Washington’s Senate on Saturday voted 36 to 7 to approve legislation that would make changes to the state’s recreational cannabis market, includingcannabud removing the three-tier tax structure in favor of a single excise tax. The vote came a day after the House of Representatives passed the measure with a 59 to 38 vote. It now heads to Governor Jay Inslee.

House Bill 2136 would remove Washington’s three-tier tax structure on recreational cannabis (25% on the producer, processor and retailer), and would replace it with a single 37% tax which would be paid at the point of sale at retail outlets.

Read moreWashington Legislature Passes Recreational Cannabis Reform Bill, Governor Inslee Expected to Sign

Why Governor Jay Inslee Lost My Support After Signing Senate Bill 5052

Governor Inslee demonstrated a clear lack of compassionate when signing SB 5052 into law.
Governor Inslee demonstrated a clear lack of compassionate when signing SB 5052 into law.

Prior to TheJointBlog launching as a daily cannabis news site in January, 2013, I served as the Campaign Manager for then-Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove, who’s now on the King County Council; I also worked on his political action committee, which purpose is to help elect progressive candidates. During the 2012 election I spent well over 100 hours – mostly volunteer, though some paid (by the before-mentioned PAC) – helping to get Jay Inslee elected as governor. I believe he generally has strong values, and some great policy positions. But after the signing of Senate Bill 5052, he’s lost my support, and won’t be receiving my time, nor my vote, when running for reelection next year.

Read moreWhy Governor Jay Inslee Lost My Support After Signing Senate Bill 5052

Washington Governor Signs Bill to Close Dispensaries, Reduce Patients’ Rights

Washingtonmedical-marijuana-630 Governor Jay Inslee has signed Senate Bill 5052 into law, a proposal that will lead to the closure of every medical cannabis dispensary in the state, while implementing a patient registry and drastically reducing the amount of cannabis a patient can possess and cultivate.

Senate Bill 5052 requires all currently operating medical cannabis dispensaries to close by July 1st, 2016, putting an end to hundreds, if not thousands of jobs, and greatly decreasing safe access for patients. The proposal will also reduce the amount of cannabis a patient can possess by over 80%, from 24 ounces to 3, and will reduce the amount they can cultivate from 15 plants, to 6. And this is only if they enter a patient database admitting to committing a federal crime; if a patient refuses to join the database, they’ll only be able to possess an ounce, and cultivate 4 plants.

Read moreWashington Governor Signs Bill to Close Dispensaries, Reduce Patients’ Rights