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Washington State To Begin Accepting Applications In November From Marijuana Retailers

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 16, 2013

    Washington state regulators today finalized rules to govern the state’s nascent marijuana retail market. Beginning on November 18, regulators will begin formally accepting applications from those seeking state licenses to commercially produce, process, and sell cannabis to those age 21 and over. A press release regarding the state’s forthcoming rules and the application process is available here.

    Under an initiative (I-502) enacted by voters in November, the adult possession of limited quantities of non-medical marijuana — as well as the state-licensed production and sale of cannabis — is not subject to criminal penalty. Voters in Colorado approved a similar measure in November authorizing state-licensed marijuana production and retail sales. Colorado state regulators began accepting applications from would-be marijuana producers and retailers earlier this month.

    In an August memorandum, Deputy Attorney General Cole directed the US Attorneys in all 50 states, including Colorado, not to interfere with the implementation of state marijuana regulations unless such activities specifically undermined eight explicit federal law enforcement priorities.

    Both Colorado and Washington are anticipated to have licensed marijuana retail outlets operational by early next year.

    19 Responses to “Washington State To Begin Accepting Applications In November From Marijuana Retailers”

    1. TheOracle says:

      Pennsylvania needs to send officials out there to Washington state to find out what they are doing, and then duplicate back in Harrisburg. Pennsylvania still has a state-controlled liquor system like Washington whereby the state owns the retail outlets for wine and spirits, and it owns the wholesale wine and liquor distribution system. The state-owned stores must buy wholesale from the state-owned wholesale system. (Beer can be bought from privately owned stores, not just at bars, so in Pennsylvania you can get a case or a keg at a beer distributor.)

      Anyway, that asshole Governor Corbett and a whole lot of the republican-controlled legislature have run the state’s economy into the ground, and it’s hurting for revenue. Their half-baked idea about privatizing the liquor system would temporarily generate funds. The state-owned lottery and gambling casino system being privatized to Camelot just isn’t selling with the public, and their stupid ideas about reforming the state pension system will cost the taxpayers more in the long run than putting in more money into the current pension system, while pissing off cops, firefighters, other first responders, public school teachers and employees.

      The bridge maximum weights are steadily being lowered again and again, school budgets slashed for pension obligations, cops and firefighters, public employees and first responders are all getting furloughed in order to pay for payroll costs and the state pension which Harrisburg has UNDERFUNDED since 2000. Then when the stock market took a dive, the shit hit the fan. Supposedly, they figured the stock market would keep going up, up, up, like there would never be market corrections, downturns, recessions or a crash ever again.

      Most, but not all, Pennsylvania politicians, both state and national, are just plain idiots whose purpose is to disguise the fact that they’re goal is to arrange to fill their own pockets. Hence, the revolving door after they get out of office. Like to see what Corbett gets out of Shell for that billion $ tax break he gave them for the gas processing plant out near Pittsburgh. Quid pro quo, you know, something of value for something of value. It’s just a matter of WHEN he can cash in his chips.

    2. Micah says:

      Personally, I don’t think you should have to register. Its something you can grow yourself without any danger in the production, because it’s simply cultivation; no production needed. I get that to sell anything commercially, you need a license, but its kind of hypocritical of the state to imprison thousands of small-scale personal-amount sellers, and now try to profit off them. I have no problem with taxing the Walmart-weed stores, but person-to-person sales should stay under the table. Obviously, they will, but that should be how it ought to be done, not just how it is.

    3. Anonymous says:

      I hope NORML has all its people ready to record how much drastic good this does in those two states both money wise (BIG TIME)and otherwise.

      The best part (and really the most important part) is going to finally be able to gloat about it to the other states so they follow along quicker.

      This is what they are all waiting for too in many ways.

    4. tad says:

      Great to see Washington taking care of details before their retail market is accessible and demonstrates that we may *talk* a lot about the free market system and fair competition, but we are not even close to a free-market system. Talk = cheap.

      Another example is the right to a free press. We have accepted claims that we have this right, but the right to own something is not the same as actually owning, having, that something.

      Considering the climate of sensationalist, distraction news, and also the market system that is undeniably not “free” when industry giants smash all up-and-comers. Non-psychoactive hemp is as illegal as the psychoactive kind.

      This makes an invaluable, sustainable resource unavailable for no good reason while rational people in other countries still grow hemp freely as their ancestors did. Hemp doesn’t get you stoned which is why. they. allow. importation. for commercial reasons, without arrest and inquisition, But if you grow it…it’s prison!

      Sounds like corruption. Pure poo.

      The hemp ban is good example that prohibitionists are not really concerned about your health, but claim so while hiding their seething hatred for something of which they merely disapprove. In their little realities and time-worn personas that claim to know right from wrong and what morality is, because they made that choice themselves.

      As a free American, you can sell imported hemp products, even open a business that specializes in hemp products, but you cannot grow the hemp yourself, even if smoking it/consuming it will not make people “high.”

      The hemp grown to provide fibers for textiles can be used by the porcine force as evidence, an excuse for imprisonment of the owner following home invasion, wrongful arrest, theft, imprisonment, stigmatization with unjustified criminal records, violations of privacy and medical confidentiality and of basic human rights.

      Prohibition is the creation of a cat and mouse game that starts the cat chasing and attracts other ‘mice’ to get in on the massive profits associated with poor public policy for a non-crime.

      One may feel compelled to ask:

      Does possession/use of cannabis hemp warrant the same penalties as possession/use of psychoactive cannabis? Since non-psychoactive cannabinoids have demonstrated, accepted medical uses and as much potential for abuse as smoking typing or toilet paper, isn’t there a glaring contradiction here that reveals the degeneracy that belies prohibition?

      It’s legal to have and purchase cannabis hemp for import, but you cannot grow it yourself without risking prison?! But you can possess it and import it in raw form. Just don’t grow it!

      Sounds like two-faced corruption. Corruption that is too lazy to also chase these mice for hemp growing charges, but nevertheless kills competition that threatens many industries who are afraid of cannabis’ meaning to their bottom line.

      So the next question is:

      Does possession/use of ACTUAL psychoactive cannabis (flowering tops) warrant such punishments as if it were a crime ?

      Those eight explicit Fed laws that will not be “undermined” are going to be the M.O. for prohibition agencies. I read that as a foreshadowed threat, and it’s probable (likely or guaranteed) they will follow through because their yobs depend on these over-reaching, failed, wasteful agencies, with inevitable dissolution on its way.

      They’ll want to maintain their authority over others and to discredit the gradual national legalization, and to keep up their rates of arrest (how they measure “success”). Those rates would drop to 66% after 1/3 of arrests are no longer for cannabis.

      Wake up, it’s not “the good guys versus the monsters,” that’s a juvenile fantasy for the deluded.

      At Nuremberg the favorite saying was likely ‘I was just following orders.’

      If they say they’ll raid people who violate those eight rules to make publicized examples of them for the media to exploit, furthering their cause to maintain their positions, you can bet they will.

      They’re afraid to be jobless and guilt-laden for life. They’ll be waiting to nab the desperate from slower progressing states for inter-state transport of flowers, and so federal crime, federal prison, even though it’s mere federal bullsh*t.

    5. Closet Smoker says:

      As a resident, I look forward to witnessing history! A little more than 8 months from now I will be able to walk into a licensed and regulated store and buy all kinds of cannabis products.

    6. Don Berry says:

      Yes, this is a welcome development…but good grief! there’s a 25% excise tax for wholesale sales and another 25% for retail sales, plus the regular state and local sales taxes. This system is still punitive and grossly unfair compared to any other retail product. Hopefully, these absurd taxes will be lowered to be in line with alcohol and tobacco excise taxes as the market matures and fear subsides.

    7. http://www.unitedforcare.org help to legalize marijuana in #Florida.

    8. Evening Bud says:

      We haven’t been hearing as much about Washington’s preparing for its upcoming legalization as we have Colorado. But it’s great to see that things are moving ahead. @ Closet Smoker, congrats. While you’re celebrating your new-found freedom, take a “hit” for the rest of us wannabes.

    9. Denny Strausser Jr says:

      I wish people would shut up about the (Oh Know, No More Underground Sales.) Isn’t better anyways, to be able to buy it legally?

      I wanna take a vacation in Colorado next year, staying a week, partly to get high. Partly because, I would like visiting CO. If I don’t go to Colorado… (CO), then I’ll think about Washington, as there’s many attractions in WA as well. Could always go to The Worlds Fair. That would be fun actually. Get High, Then Visit The Space Needle. ;-)

    10. phrtao says:

      I will be interested to see how many more international flights will go to Seattle and Denver. They are looking like more tempting tourist destinations than California, New York and Florida. I expect many europeans will suddenly discover skiing in Aspen rather than the Alps this winter 8-)

    11. Mark Innes says:

      So the medicinal cannabis will be a certain color and taxed seperately than the recreational colored type? Appears to be another divide and conquer application of fear and ignorance.

      [Editor's note: Probably closer to political pragmatism and economic reality than 'divide and conquer'.]

    12. celtic giraffe says:

      Pennsylvania needs to legalize also. I am from Harrisburg. This state has little idea how to increase revenues since the entire state is run by lobbyist and their friends. So any novel idea of how to increase revenue is left out. This is one of the highest taxed states in the union. Taxes could be so much lower. I can buy alcohol and get suicidal, angry and violent but I cant buy marijuana and get mellow, calm and happy. Makes a lot of logical sense, idiots.

    13. Brandon says:

      @TheOracle

      Washington State Voters Privatized Liquor Sales on Election Day 2011, one year before voting Marijuana Legalized.

      Liquor is now sold in Stores Over 30,000 sq. feet. Sadly, enough contrary to what most voters were led to believe before the election, Liquor has been increased on an average of $6.00 to $8.00 per Half Gallon. Due to vendor costs and increased sales tax with the states reimbursement of stock on hand upon privatization.

      Costco was the major player in the writing of what has turned into increased cost for convenience.

      Our Legalized Marijuana Program is also tainted by Big Business out of the gate.

      It’s lacking any kind of protections in the work place. For testing and the like, which is very much the opposite when it comes to Liquor.

      Employers are still openly able to refuse employment and terminate employment, with the age ole’ generic urine analysis.

      They want Marijuana Treated just as Liquor When it comes to Driving Under the Influence, but when it comes to everything else they want Marijuana & Liquor kept widely separate.

    14. OHW says:

      Change your vacations to the opening date of the retail outlets! Don’t go to Florida!

      Let’s sell out the entire quota on the 1st day!

    15. TheOracle says:

      Nice the read I’m not off base about PA.

      @Brandon
      Thanks for bringing me up to speed on Washington. I’m thinking Pennsylvania should not privatize its liquor system and get rid of those good state jobs that after the pre-employment physicals have no need to give folks a pop piss test for private sector ones that could and that don’t pay as well. Too damn much outsourcing going on. State might as well just raise the taxes on booze and public deals with that instead of paying more for the profits to the private sector profiteers. I really don’t care that much, I guess, if the state privatizes booze. I rarely consume alcohol. My concern is that Pennsylvnia legalizes cannabis, that a positive test is not enough to get you fired, drivers license revoked, professional license revoked, prevent you from getting a job, cannabis offenses on a person’s record expunged. You’re absolutely right about them having their cake, the taxes and savings, and then turning around and letting people still get discriminated against, you know, not get jobs and get fired for it. That’s probably a federal thing there that needs to get changed. Once the court case reaches the federal instance, the CSA will trump.

    16. Richard Vert says:

      I’ll get excited after it’s survived a republican white house.

    17. Rich Kafel says:

      Where are all the petitions at in Cleveland, ohio, i’m disable they should go door to door with them petitions, i’m sure they would get more names going door to door

    18. David Aquarius says:

      As a resident of WA, I too look forward to the opening of legal sales of weed. It’s been a long time coming and I’m proud my state was one of the first to crack the dam of prohibition. However…(you knew that was coming!) there are still a lot of wrinkles in the new law.

      The rules are being written by people who do not or would not smoke pot. Many of them are doing this under a bit of duress as they personally opposed the passing of the law. True, they’re committed to serving the will of the voters and they’ve tried to include input from activists and patients but, in the end, the final decisions will be made by these people.

      As mentioned taxation is out of control. One of the arguments proponents of I-502 put forward was the windfall of revenue the state will take in upon legalization. The intent was to get that revenue by a moderate tax on an abundance of sales but instead we have a abundance of tax on moderate sales. What good is that if your product is priced out of the market?

      Pot Tourists are welcome but again the devil is in the details. The state made sure not to restrict sales to residents only so visitors can spend lots of $$$ on MJ. However…(again) where are you going to smoke it? They recently came out against smoke clubs and vaping parlors; hotels and other businesses have no smoking rules and, of course, no consumption in public. Smokers were given a pass at Hempfest but that’s over now. There will be tickets given out, I guarantee it. And the big NO NO is smoking in a National Park or Forest. That’s the Fed’s domain and they’re hot to bust.

      Washington state has a lot of bugs to work out of their system. The status of medical marijuana is a shambles and lots of patients are feeling betrayed. Home grows are still verboten which pushes everybody to either the new stores or the black market (see taxation above). I find it very frustrating that these issues weren’t dealt within the law itself but that’s history. We can only hope that this grand experiment doesn’t fall flat before it has the chance to flourish. Some activists plan on sponsoring legislation to deal with these issues but WA state politics is at best a zoo and at worse a sewer.

      Colorado is a bit ahead of the game but even they are having some fits.

      So bottom line, everyone take note of our success and our failures. When working for that magic law that will allow you to spark a fatty on your front porch without fear of arrest, make sure you’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s.

      The war ain’t over ’til I can FedEx my buddy in NY an ounce of my latest strain and no one cares.

    19. Michael lr says:

      Pennsylvania, the great state that needs some fixing, what else can we do to speed up the process of us becoming MMJ legal. I have written the politicians,what now?
      Blessing
      Michael lr

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