Legal Cannabis Week #53

Seattle Center pot party roundup

Well that was fun. The second annual Seattle Center I-502 Anniversary Celebration was a success by most accounts. Most amazing, I think, was the event’s ability to garner media, to recirculate through the news cycle. Of course this is no accident; it is part of the plan. I tend to view conflict as the fulcrum of all change (though only some conflict results in the change we seek). It so happens that conflict is the root of news cycle, too, and by thoughtfully feeding that desire, we can ride the media waves, increase their amplitude, and even direct them a bit.

The story went out on the AP wire twice, appearing in places like the Washington Post, New Zealand Herald, Miami Herald, and many other news outlets large and small. The Seattle Times ran the headline “Cool night to fire up a fatty” on Saturday’s front page, above the fold. I did interviews with CNBC, BBC, CBC Canada, CBS Radio, and every local TV station covered the event live, which was then used by affiliated stations in other markets. Here are some stories since last week:

Ben Livingston on the Bob Rivers Show
DEC 2 | KJR 95.7 fm

Antidrug Activists Try to Shut Down Pot Party
DEC 4 | The Stranger

Public Party Planned for One-Year Anniversary of Legal Pot
DEC 4 | KPLU News

Hundreds of pot smokers set to party at Seattle Center
DEC 5 |

Seattle throws legal marijuana a one-year birthday bash

Friday Memo: UW football coach poll … brrrrrr … big pot party at Seattle Center
DEC 6 | Seattle Times

Party to celebrate Washington pot anniversary
DEC 6 | Associated Press

Happy Legal Cannabis Day!
DEC 6 | The Stranger

Legal Cannabis Day: A Celebration Of Freedom in Washington
DEC 6 | Leafly

Marijuana lovers toke up in celebration of legal pot anniversary
DEC 6 | KOMO 4 News

Hundreds light up to celebrate Wash. legal pot anniversary
DEC 6 | KING 5 News

Pot smokers light up in shadow of Space Needle
DEC 6 | KIRO 7 News

Hundreds toke up in Seattle on anniversary of pot legalization
DEC 6 | Q13 Fox News

Seattle Center pot party draws hundreds of tokers
DEC 6 | Seattle Times

Party celebrates Washington pot anniversary
DEC 6 | Associated Press

I Smoked Mass Marijuana At Seattle Center Last Night
DEC 6 | Seattle PI

Historic night to fire up a fatty
DEC 6 | Seattle Times front page

Help pay the pot party rent

Many people have asked if I broke even on the event, and the answer is no. I raised $7,500 but expect to be $3,500 short of the final tab. The costs for fencing and Seattle Center staffing increased at the last moment, adding around $2,000. The event lost around $1,000 in revenue when Seattle Center nixed plans for (non-employee) exhibitors in the smoking area, fearing a repeat of the High Times Cannabis Cup, where vendors openly distributed and sold marijuana despite a guarantee that such activity would not occur.

The value of this event to my personal mission is great enough that I can contribute a thousand bucks or so, but beyond that I have overextended myself, and I humbly ask for your help.

I originally set up a Kickstarter page for pre-event poster sales, but Legal Cannabis Day was kicked off Kickstarter. They said the cannabis concert didn’t fit within any of their project categories and “our guidelines prohibit tobacco, drugs, and drug paraphernalia.” This type of treatment is a frustration I routinely encounter in my advocacy and it places significant roadblocks to moving forward in one’s work—and I’m not even an actual pot business. I ended up speaking with Kickstarter public relations staff—ah, media perks—who clarified that it wasn’t because of the cannabis but because the project didn’t seem to fit in their “music” category.

So I’ve tried again with a different crowdfunding site. Here you can donate, buy posters, pre-reserve a table, or sponsor next year’s celebration:

I greatly appreciate all the people who came out on a moment’s notice to help pull off Legal Cannabis Day 2013. Many folks are sayin’ we need to rinse and repeat—with a bigger tent, more heat, and better lighting all around. I tend to agree.

More entrepreneurs apply for cannabis licenses

Cannabis entrepreneurs filed over 1,300 applications for legal pot licenses in Washington State. Here is the same story written a bunch of times:

More marijuana businesses apply in Grays Harbor and Pacific County
DEC 3 | KXRO Newsradio

Updated county count: 1,326 applications submitted for marijuana licenses in Washington
DEC 3 | Seattle PI

Pot store licensing helping weed out ill-prepared applicants

Applicants lining up for NCW pot businesses
DEC 4 | Wenatchee World

12 more Yakima County entities apply to join pot trade
DEC 5 | Yakima Herald

More companies seek to farm, process marijuana
DEC 5 | Daily Astorian

State receives marijuana retailer application from the Point
DEC 5 | All Point Bulletin

3 applicants so far for retail marijuana licenses in Longview
DEC 5 | Daily News

Locals line up for shot at pot market
DEC 6 | Islands’ Sounder

Marijuana applications increase in Grant County
DEC 6 | Columbia Basin Herald

Mid-Columbia farmers mull marijuana
DEC 7 | Tri-City Herald

Upcoming events

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WSLCB Hearing: Pot Ban in Bars and Clubs
WED DEC 11 @10AM | WSCLB Headquarters

Association of Washington Growers and Breeders Meeting
WED DEC 11 @8PM (WEEKLY) | West Seattle Legion Hall 

CCSE Open Meeting
THU DEC 12 @NOON | Seattle Creative Arts Center

Ellensburg Cannabis Moratorium Hearing
MON DEC 16 @7PM | Ellensburg City Hall

Retrial of Supreme Court winner William Kurtz

THU DEC 19 @ 9AM | Thurston County Courthouse

Week in review

Painkillers curb cannabis-related memory loss, study suggests.

Rep. Ruben Gallego plans legal pot legislation in Arizona.

Some residents demand a pot business ban in Redmond Ridge community.

Nations waiver in their support for the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

Heather Miller Coyle researches new cannabis contaminant testing methods.

Oregon entrepreneurs plans for medical cannabis dispensary licensing.

Biloxi Green and McCormack Green submitted retail pot shop applications for the same Kirkland property.

King County Council delayed a cannabis zoning vote when Redmond Ridge residents protested a pot producer in their community.

Denver City Council reversed course on a front-yard pot ban.

Governor Chris Christie refused to sign a bill allowing New Jersey patients to purchase pot out of state.

Kennewick and Richland City Councils heard testimony in favor of marijuana moratoriums, with no opposing opinion.

Councilmember Nick Licata proposed a $27 fine for public cannabis consumption.

Franklin County Commission declined comment on pot business license applications.

Henry Lowe launched a medical cannabis research company in Jamaica.

Mark Kleiman spoke to the LA Times.

Moroccan legislators held a hearing on cannabis legalization.

Jose Gutierrez faces eight years in prison for assaulting a federal officer during the Oaksterdam raid.

City Attorney Pete Holmes requested the state cannabis board add more Seattle retail licenses and measure school zone buffers by “common path of travel.”

Sebastopol City Council elected dispensary operator Robert Jacob mayor of the California city.

Rep. Mike Ball considers drafting a bill to legalize low-THC cannabis oil.

Anthony Youn thinks marijuana causes man boobs.

Canada appealed a medibles ruling.

Michigan legislators consider bills to allow medical cannabis dispensaries and edibles.

Privateer Holdings announced a business to lease 502-compliant production space.

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board added one day to the initial cannabis business licensing window.

Greta Cart, Kelly Kirby, John Davis, Dan Satterberg, and Jim Pugel reflected on a year of legal cannabis.

Florida Supreme Court heard arguments over medical cannabis initiative language.

Israel announced plans to reduce red tape in its medical cannabis program.

Worth repeating

“I think the city is going to have to look carefully whether this is a good use of their resources of their space. That is an area well trafficked by children, and are you really cordoning it off to kids or are you sending a message to kids?”

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan on Legal Cannabis Day at Seattle Center

“I think it’s a pretty apt place to have a pot party in a state that just legalized it.”

Parent and Seattle Center visitor Ben Davis on Legal Cannabis Day at Seattle Center

“I want to make the point that cannabis consumers are good people, and we should be treated equally with other people when trying to utilize city facilities.”

Center for Legal Cannabis Director Ben Livingston on Legal Cannabis Day at Seattle Center

“They are going to allow the experiment to go forward. I think that’s historic, and, really, we in the industry feel that sense of history.”

Northwest Patient Resource Center Co-owner John Davis on Legal Cannabis Day at Seattle Center


Center for Legal Cannabis fertilizes and strengthens the ground under advocates, entrepreneurs, regulators, and media professionals. Sign up for weekly updates at or by emailing or by writing PO Box 95227, Seattle, WA 98145. Email us to unsubscribe, or reach Ben via telephone at 206-335-9214.