Washington Open Cannabis Container Law Now in Effect

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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.

Those who do have open containers of cannabis will be required to keep the cannabis in their trunks, or out-of-sight in the row of seats behind the driver.

The change in the law was requested by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, to bring cannabis in line with open-container laws that are in place for alcohol.

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The new law also restores the Department of Licensing’s ability to automatically suspend a person’s driver’s license if a blood test shows he or she has at least 5 ng/ml of THC in their blood (or if they have less but an officer still finds that person to be “legally impaired”).

The full text of House Bill 1276 can be found by clicking here.



  • Katie
    October 14, 2015

    So you can have open containers of cannabis as long as they’re in the back seat of your car?

    • stan
      October 14, 2015

      that’s how I read it also,

  • calicorock
    October 14, 2015

    Another punitive step backward from Republican State Sen. Anne River’s. . Yep, the very same Dunce, so creepily gleeful about her Bill ( now State law SB 5052) giving lawmakers a green-light to throw minor children into adult State prison fro 3 years for simple possession. Sen.River’s is clearly, Washington States cheerleader for the State prison lobby. Not one positive thing, regarding marijuana policy, has come out of Olympia since State residents voted to legalize. Olympia is a decade behind State voter. After the Nov., 2016 it’s my hope that Republican stooges like Anne Rivers will be sent back to the cannabis banned backwater where she belongs. PS: As the Nov. 2016 election draws nearer, I’m putting my money where my mouth, to see River’s tossed out of office.

  • Brian
    October 15, 2015

    Directly from the bill:

    It can be stored

    (A) in the trunk of the vehicle, (B) in some other area of the vehicle not normally occupied or directly
    accessible by the driver or passengers if the vehicle does not have a
    trunk, or (C) in a package, container, or receptacle that has not
    been opened or the seal broken or contents partially removed. A
    utility compartment or glove compartment is deemed to be within the
    area occupied by the driver and passengers;

    • Anonymous
      October 16, 2015

      would if you have a truck with no canopy then what

  • Anonymous
    October 15, 2015

    The law is the same as a open liquor bottle. If it is open put it up . Glove box, trunk . Out of sight out of mind

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