WA: Over 1,000 Signatures on Petition to End Felonies for Personal Cannabis Possession

Personal Cannabis PossessionA Change.org petition calling on Washington State’s lawmakers to end felonies for personal cannabis possession has received over 1,000 signatures in just a 10-day period.

“In Washington the possession of up to 28 grams of cannabis is legal for those 21 and older, due to the passage of Initiative 502 in 2012”, states the petition. “However, the possession of just 50% more than this – anything over 40 grams – is a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.”

Read moreWA: Over 1,000 Signatures on Petition to End Felonies for Personal Cannabis Possession

Possessing Over 40 Grams of Cannabis, or Sharing Any Amount, is a Felony in Washington State

cannabisjarmotherjonesIt’s been over three and a half years since voters in Washington State gave approval to Initiative 502, legalizing the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older. Thousands of arrest have been prevented since the law took effect, and millions in dollars of taxes have been garnered for the state. With this in mind, it can be hard to believe – and is incredibly eyeopening to see –  some of the laws currently on the books in the state regarding cannabis.

For example, possessing up to 28 grams of cannabis is legal if you’re 21 or older, as established above. However, if you possess 41 grams – less than an ounce and a half – you’re committing a class C felony; this is also true of sharing any amount, including passing a joint or pipe to another person who’s 21 or older. If you’re caught, and prosecuted, you could be imprisoned for up to five years.

Read morePossessing Over 40 Grams of Cannabis, or Sharing Any Amount, is a Felony in Washington State

King County, WA Lifts Ban on Cannabis Businesses

kingThe King County Council has voted 5 to 3 to lift their ban on legal cannabis businesses.

Under the new law, cannabis businesses that are licensed with the state will be authorized to operate within unincorporated King County. There are some restrictions, however, such as cannabis grow operations being required to be on parcels of 10 acres or more, and a requirement that retail outlets can’t be within 1,000 feet of another outlet.

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Washington State Senate Committee Passes Bill to Legalize Industrial Hemp

Industrial-HempLegislation to legalize the cultivation and production of industrial hemp in Washington has been given approval by the state’s Senate Committee on Agriculture and Water & Rural Economic Development, and has been sent to the floor of the Senate by the Rules Committee.

Under the proposed law – Senate Bill 6206 – the Washington State Department of Agriculture would oversee licensing and regulations for the hemp industry, with those wanting to cultivate the plant required to receive a license from the Department. The bill would also direct Washington State University to study the “feasibility and desirability” of industrial hemp in the state.

Read moreWashington State Senate Committee Passes Bill to Legalize Industrial Hemp

Bipartisan Washington State Bill Would Legalize Cannabis Cultivation for Everyone 21 and Older

cannabis cultivationInitiative 502, approved by Washington State voters in 2012, legalized the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis in dried form, up to 16 ounces in edible form, and up to 72 ounces in liquid form, for those 21 and older. The initiative also legalized cannabis retail outlets. What it didn’t legalize, however, was personal cultivation, which remains a felony.

Now, legislation – House Bill 2629 – has been filed in the state’s House of Representatives which would fix this, legalizing the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants, and up to 24 ounces of cannabis harvested from said plants (currently the possession of over an ounce but under 40 grams is a misdemeanor; anything over 40 grams is a felony). The proposal was filed by Representatives Brian Blake (D), Cary Condotta (R), and Jessyn Farrell (D).

Read moreBipartisan Washington State Bill Would Legalize Cannabis Cultivation for Everyone 21 and Older

Reminder: Possessing an Ounce and a Half of Cannabis in Washington is a Felony

cannabis in washingtonIn Washington State the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis is legal for those 21 and older, due to the passage of Initiative 502 by voters in 2012. The initiative also legalized cannabis retail outlets, with hundreds opened throughout the state. With this in mind, many people don’t realize that possessing just 50% over the legal amount is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Based on RCW (Revised Code of Washington) 69.50, possessing anything over 40 grams is a class C felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000; the same penalty applies to cultivating any amount of cannabis, or sharing any amount including passing a joint or pipe). If you possess even a pinch over an ounce, but no more than 40 grams, it’s a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and an $1,000 fine.

Read moreReminder: Possessing an Ounce and a Half of Cannabis in Washington is a Felony

WA: Cannabis Legalization Has Not Increased Teen Usage

The Guardian jointWashington State legalizing cannabis has not led to an increase in teens using the substance, according to a study compiled by Washington’s Healthy Youth Survey and published by the Washington State Institute of Public Policy.

Between the period of 2002 to 2014, self-reported cannabis use has fell among 8th graders, 10th graders and 12th graders. More 8th graders now report that cannabis is “hard to get” than did in 2002, despite laws regarding the plant being liberalized for adults.

Between 2012 and 2014, the period in which Initiative 502 was passed by voters and enacted into law, self-reported lifetime cannabis use and use within the past 30 days either stayed the same or fell among all of the age groups.

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New Study Shows Which Washington Counties Purchase the Most Cannabis Per Capita

A gram of legal recreational cannabis being sold in Washington.A new study conducted by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy has found that Klickitat County has the highest rate of per capita recreational cannabis sales, averaging $65.80 of cannabis sold for every one person since legal sales began in July, 2014.

According to the study, Clark County was second with $56.93 sold per capita, with Jefferson County coming in at third with $51.23 sold per capita.

King County, the state’s most populated county, had less than 40% of the per capita sales of Klickitat County, averaging $24.39.

Read moreNew Study Shows Which Washington Counties Purchase the Most Cannabis Per Capita

Washington Garners $70 Million in Taxes During First Year of Legal Cannabis Sales

moneyThere was over $250 million in recreational cannabis sold in Washington during the first year of legal sales, from July 1st, 2014, to July 1st, 2015. In total, this resulted in over $70 million in taxes for the state, according to data released by the state.

In total, there are 160 recreational cannabis outlets reporting sales throughout Washington. The $70 million in taxes garnered – $62 million from excise taxes and the remaining from state and local taxes – is nearly double state projections, which estimated taxes in the first year to be around $36 million.

Read moreWashington Garners $70 Million in Taxes During First Year of Legal Cannabis Sales

WA Liquor Control Board to Allow Roughly 400 Dispensaries to Become Licensed Outlets

washington-flagOn July 24th, the Washington State Liquor Control Board will be renamed the Liquor and Cannabis Board, and will be tasked with deciding which of the state’s currently operating medical cannabis collective gardens – which are forced to close by July 1st, 2016 – will be allowed to become licensed and legal outlets.

According to the Associated Press, the Board will use a merit-based system to decide which outlets to license. The Board estimates that 825 outlets will apply for a license, and they expect to approve about half.

Read moreWA Liquor Control Board to Allow Roughly 400 Dispensaries to Become Licensed Outlets