In total, there has been $446 million in legal cannabis sold in fiscal year 2016 (which began on July 1, 2015), resulting in roughly $85 million in taxes for the state. In this fiscal year, there has been over 48,000 pounds of usable cannabis sold, in addition to over 3 million grams of extracts sold, and over 1.1 million cannabis edibles sold.
In 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.
Washington 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.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee recently signed House Bill 1276 into law, a proposal that makes multiple changes to the state’s impaired driving laws. Among the changes is a provision explicitly prohibiting open cannabis containers – such as bags and wrappers with half eaten edibles – from being located inside a vehicle.
The new law, which goes into effect September 26th, makes it so that it’s illegal to have any non-sealed cannabis container in a vehicle’s driver or passenger area. A non-sealed cannabis container is described as any package where the seal has been broken or the contents have been “partially removed”. This would apply to any cannabis not purchased at a state-licensed store, where packages are sealed and label.
According to the LCB (which will be renamed the Liquor and Cannabis Board on July 24th), there are 161 licensed recreational cannabis outlets throughout Washington State, with 142 reporting sales. On average, there is $1,243,926 in recreational cannabis sold each day, which results in roughly $311,000 in daily tax revenue. In total, there has been $205,917,611 in cannabis sold since legal sales began July 1st of 2014. This has resulted in $51,479,403 in taxes for the state.
Support for cannabis legalization has increased among Washington voters since they approved Initiative 502 in 2012, and a vast majority feel that the change in law has been a positive one, according to a new Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey.
“[I]n 2012 Washingtonians voted to legalize marijuana usage by 12 points”, says Tom Jenson of PPP in a Wednesday press release. “Now voters in the state say they support marijuana being legal by 19 points, 56/37. 77% of voters say marijuana being legal has either had a positive impact on their life or no impact at all, with likewise only 22% claiming marijuana legalization has affected them negatively.”
Washington 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.
The price of legal recreational cannabis has dropped significantly in recent months in Washington, according to new data released by the state’s Liquor Control Board.
According to the Board, the average price of recreational cannabis throughout the state is $12 a gram. When sales began in July, average prices were near $30 a gram.
Washington State Representatives Luis Moscoso (D-Mountlake Terrace), Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) and Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Wall) have introduced legislation to create a system of licensing and regulation for medical cannabis dispensaries, and to finally provide arrest protection for qualifying patients.
According to a press release sent today by Rep. Mosoco, House Bill 2058 is identical to legislation that passed both the House and Senate in 2011, before being largely vetoed by then-Governor Christine Gregoire due to concerns about federal intervention.
“With the legalization of recreational marijuana and subsequent changes in federal law and enforcement, we have a real opportunity to create a better medical marijuana system for Washington,” says Moscoso. “It’s time we established clear and consistent regulations that preserve patient rights.”