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WA weed industry should be safe, equitable. To do it, modernize Liquor and Cannabis Board


Ten years ago, Washington voters created the first legal adult-use cannabis industry in the country.

That industry drives billions in revenue to the state and provides 18,360 jobs statewide. But as we look at the last decade in preparation for the next, we are concerned Washington is losing its head-start advantage. It’s time to course correct, and we count on all industry stakeholders to work toward a common goal: a safe, equitable, quality-controlled and fully regulated market for cannabis.

Too many license-holders have been cut off early — some well before they even got started — and the agency holding the axe is the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). In 2012, the world changed almost overnight for the LCB.


Researchers developing vaccine to fight opioid use disorder

needle and pills

A new vaccine being developed could be used to help those prone to Opioid Use Disorder and opiate addiction.

Scientists with a new research center at the University of Washington are working on a vaccine to help fight the opioid epidemic in a bid to stem the tide of overdose deaths that has swept the nation over the past two decades. 

Marco Pravetoni, the head of the new UW Medicine Center for Medication Development for Substance Use Disorders, is leading the effort to develop the vaccine. Similar to immunization against an invading pathogen, the vaccine under development would stimulate the body’s immune system to attack and destroy opioid molecules before they can enter the brain. 


‘Battle royale’: Cannabis regulation bills pit regulatory agency against some marijuana businesses


An effort by state regulators to rein in sale of intoxicating cannabis that can be produced with materials outside their authority has some major business interests crying foul.

The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board has requested a change in the law that would explicitly permit it to prohibit the sale of intoxicating materials derived from hemp. The request comes on the heels of rulemaking started in earnest by the board last year after it was discovered that some of the state’s retailers were selling products including “delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC),” an intoxicant chemically similar to delta-9 THC found in adult marijuana plants, that had been produced from hemp, which was made federally legal following passage of the 2018 farm bill.


10 years later, industry says Washington’s legal marijuana needs an update

cannabis word

Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of the passage of I-502, the ballot initiative that Washington voters approved 56–44% in November 2012, becoming – along with Colorado – the first states in the nation to take the plunge into marijuana legalization.

I-502 created a regulated market that generates hundreds of millions in tax dollars for the state through the sale of small amounts of marijuana and other cannabis products to those 21 and over.

A lot has changed in the last nine years, but some key aspects of the policy remain the same, and the industry says it is time for updates.


Three Men Convicted of Stealing Marijuana from Retailer Won’t Have to Pay Back Nearly $77,000


Three men convicted of stealing almost $77,000 worth of marijuana from an Okanogan County retail marijuana business will not have to pay that money back to the victim.

The state Appeals Court in Spokane has determined the Okanogan County prosecutor’s office failed to ask for the money to be returned within the required 180 days from the date set by the Appeals Court.

The delay stemmed from difficulty in finding a replacement prosecutor when the Okanogan County Prosecutor removed himself from the case because he’d represented one of the defendants before being elected to the post.

The three defendants – Joseph Jones, Thomas Robertson, and Nathaniel Mowen – will not have to pay back the money to the owner of the retail shop.


Gifts for the marijuana lovers on your list

cannabis bud

If you’re stumped on what to get your canna-buddies, look no further than the dispensary. They’re likely to have everything you need to stuff their stockings (and yours too!). From edibles to dabs, we’ve compiled a list of the top products sold at dispensaries, things you can snag in a hurry when you’re running out of time for the perfect gift.


Edibles like THC-infused brownies and gummies make for a fantastic, fun gift. Plus, edible cannabis products are delicious and often used to treat chronic pain and relieve feelings of anxiety or nausea. Just be sure that your giftee lives in a state where marijuana-infused edibles are legal to consume.


The data show Washingtonians are spending more now than ever on cannabis

cannabis buds in a jar

Washington counties bordering Idaho had some of the highest cannabis spending per capita.

Cannabis sales in Washington continue to grow year over year, according to annual data released last month by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. Consumers in Washington spent $1.49 billion on cannabis in the fiscal year ended June 30, up from $1.27 billion in fiscal 2020. This continues an upward trend in the revenue numbers, which topped $1 billion for the first time in 2019. Fiscal 2021 sales generated a record $533.9 million in tax revenue for the state.


Grant to study hemp market in western U.S.

marijuana plants

 Researchers from Washington State University will study different hemp varieties and do chemical analysis of them as part of a new $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to define economic opportunities for hemp in the western United States.

The grant, led by Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, is a five-year project funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant program. WSU scientists are partnering with eight institutions across the nation and many industry partners, including the Industrial Hemp Association of Washington, on this research, which addresses the needs of Native American and other rural community businesses and farmers in the four-state West Coast region.


City of Seattle Decriminalizes Psychedelics

Seattle skyline

In a continuing trend across the country whereby cities are taking steps to decriminalize the possession of certain amounts of all kinds of psychedelics, Seattle joined the herd this week by voting to formalize the non-prosecution of the possession of certain entheogens, commonly known as psychedelics. We were especially gratified to see the results of the vote, as John Rapp and Mason Marks from our office have been working hard on this behind the scenes.

Resolution 32021 passed on Monday (see the actual ordinance here), and it basically renders as one of the lowest “law enforcement priorities” the “investigation, arrest, and prosecution of anyone engaging in entheogen-related activities.” More specifically, the ordinance states that:


Felons Can Now Get Cannabis Licenses in Washington State

hands in handcuffs

Felons will no longer be automatically barred from getting a cannabis license in Washington State, beginning next Saturday on October 2. Several updates to the rule now allow some people with serious felonies to obtain cannabis licenses, on a case-by-case basis.

That’s thanks to a new rule set by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board that will go into effect shortly. Anyone who obtains a license must first pass an obligatory background check, but now, a felony on a record won’t necessarily be an automatic disqualifier.

Serious felony convictions within the past 10 years, however, will still trigger deeper scrutiny of a person’s application. But the rules no longer bar people with felonies from receiving a license. 


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