Legal Cannabis Week #64

State limits pot growers to one license

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced that they are limiting cannabis business applicants to one pot grow each, down from the three-license limit they set initially. The move overcomes a troublesome hurdle the board encountered: how to equitably distribute the two million square feet of grow space the agency set as a limit for the new industry when 2,858 applications requested to grow over 40 million square feet of pot.

Additionally, the board is reducing by 30% the amount of grow space that licensees may produce. The board initial created three tiers for 2,000, 10,000, and 30,000 square foot grows, which will now become 1,400, 7,000, and 21,000 square foot licenses.

One license per pot grower, state says
FEB 19 | The Stranger

I-502 implementation chief Randy Simmons tells me final inspections are scheduled for this week, and they expect to issue grow licenses the first week of March. Applicants with more than one grow application may withdraw the extras for a refund, otherwise they’ll be left in the queue for when state regulators decide they need more pot production. A new application window won’t be opened until all those waiting applications are exhausted, so I expect few people will seek a refund. Here’s more coverage:

State makes dramatic cuts to pot-growing licenses, field sizes
FEB 19 | Seattle Times

State Liquor Board Cuts Back How Much Legal Pot Producers Can Grow
FEB 19 | KPLU News

Liquor Board sets new pot-growing limits
FEB 19 | Spokesman Review

State to limit pot grower licenses
FEB 19 | Tri-City Herald

Washington state regulators set stricter limits on pot production
FEB 19 | Reuters

Washington cuts size, number of legal pot grows
FEB 19 | Associated Press

House votes to gut medical marijuana

The Washington State House of Representatives passed a bill to butcher our voter-approved medical cannabis law, which many elected state leaders have held in contempt for years. This year the official reason for the mutilation attempt is an unfounded fear that allowing sick people to cheaply produce their own pot will cause our voter-approved legal pot experiment to miss out on some additional revenue potential. To forcefully capture that revenue, HB 2149 would:

  • Criminalize patients who grow marijuana together in small groups;
  • Reduce plant limits from 15 to 3 blooming plants;
  • Reduce possession limits from 24 ounces to 3 ounces;
  • Create a taxpayer-funded mandatory government registry for all medical marijuana patients;
  • Criminalize home-growing patients who don’t register their three-plant grow with the state.

Legislative hotline is 800-LOAN-000 (toll free, loan nothing). The bill has a hearing this Thursday, February 27 at 10 a.m. in the Senate Health Care committee. Committee members are:

Here are some headlines:

Medical marijuana changes approved in Wash. House
FEB 17 | Associated Press

Washington House Overwhelmingly Approves Ban On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
FEB 18 | Forbes

UW silences student DJ over cannabis smell

Administrators at University of Washington Bothell are taking disciplinary action against a disc jockey at UWave Radio, the student-run internet radio station. His offense? Campus security alleges he smelled like marijuana during a broadcast. The incident occurred January 29, when senior communications major Justin McMahon was in the middle of Half Baked History, a show designed to reduce the stigma and fear around marijuana—irony he recognizes.

Disciplinary documents obtained by The Stranger show that school officials took the “interim step” of banning McMahon from the radio station between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m., pending the outcome of a “conduct case.”

UW Busts Student DJ for Smelling Like Pot
FEB 19 | The Stranger

Shortly after Washington State voters legalized recreational cannabis, administrators at our state’s largest college announced they would refuse to comply with state law, and instead would continue to target legal pot possessors on their property using federal drug laws. The reason for this mutinous behavior, administrators said, was because they accept grants from the federal government, and those grants require them to proactively enforce federal drug laws against our student populations.

When I asked UW officials about the radio shut-down, spokeswoman Lisa Hall refused to comment, citing federal privacy laws—like every stupid decision they make can be justified by referencing stupid federal law. When I asked her what they would do if staff accused a student of smelling like weed, she refused to discuss “hypothetical situations.” Seriously.

Legislative weed watch

Legislative hotline is 800-LOAN-000, as in “toll free, loan nothing.” According to the cutoff calendar, February 18 was the last day to consider bills in their house of origin, unless they are considered “necessary to implement budget.” These bills cleared their house of origin and are still alive:

  • HB 1597 – Goodman – Making marijuana law technical corrections.
  • HB 1888 – Shea – Regarding industrial hemp.
  • HB 2149 – Cody – Concerning medical marijuana.
  • HB 2405 – Buys – Regarding hemp as a component of commercial animal feed.
  • HB 2706 – WSLCB – Ensuring safe, responsible, and legal acquisition of marijuana by adults.

Note the industrial hemp bills I completely missed in previous updates! Additionally, these bills have recent activity and appear to be moving forward, though they haven’t cleared their house of origin:

  • SB 5887 – Rivers – Merging the medical marijuana system with the recreational marijuana system.
  • SB 6505 – Hargrove – Deny standard tax breaks to cannabis businesses.
  • SB 6542 – Kohl-Welles – Establishing the state cannabis industry coordinating committee.

These bills now appear dead, unless they are revived as “necessary to implement budget.”

  • HB 2144 – Condotta – Concerning the establishment of a dedicated local jurisdiction marijuana fund and the distribution of a specified percentage of marijuana excise tax revenues to local jurisdictions.
  • HB 2304 – WSLCB – Concerning marijuana processing and retail licenses. Recriminalizes hash possession over 7 grams.
  • HB 2394 – WSLCB – Concerning state liquor control board enforcement officers.
  • HB 2409 – Carlyle – Deny standard tax breaks to cannabis businesses.
  • SB 5966 – Kline – Concerning the possession or use of cannabis products in sentencing provisions.
  • SB 6158 – WSLCB – Ensuring safe, responsible, and legal acquisition of marijuana by adults.
  • SB 6160 – WSLCB – Concerning marijuana processing and retail licenses. Recriminalizes hash possession over 7 grams.
  • SB 6178 – Kohl-Welles – Aligning the medical marijuana system with the recreational marijuana system.
  • SB 6214 – Kohl-Welles – Concerning industrial hemp production.
  • SB 6481 – O’Ban – Funding recovery programs for persons with mental illness and chemical dependency disorders.
  • SJM 8000 – Kohl-Welles – Requesting that the DEA reclassify medical marijuana as a Schedule II drug.

They join these apparently-dead pot-related bills: HB 1084, HB 1482, HB 1661, HB 1662, HB 1789, HB 1976, HB 1991, HB 1992, HB 2000, HB 2028, HB 2030, HB 2198, HB 2206, HB 2303, HB 2233, HB 2322, HB 2411, HB 2509, HB 2510, HB 2511, HB 2566, HB 2638, HB 2732, HB 2767, HB 2772, SB 5010, SB 5222, SB 5279, SB 5528, SB 5954, SB 6130, SB 6214, SB 6393, SB 6543.

Week in review

Opinions range on the profit potential of cannabis businesses.

Spanish students overdosed on pot cake.

Rep. Patrick Kennedy promotes forced treatment.

Hawaii Senate Public Safety Committee tabled a legalization bill.

Chuck Rifici grows medical cannabis in a former Hershey’s factory in Canada.

Traffic fatalities decreased despite increased pot availability.

Gil Kerlikowske lies about medical cannabis because federal law requires it.

Michigan Senate considers a bill to allow landlords to ban patient pot smoking.

Seattle City Council considers denying agricultural tax breaks to pot growers.

Senator Joe Bolkcom introduced a bill to legalize marijuana in Iowa.

Former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff supports cannabis reform in Utah.

New York voters support legal cannabis.

Gig Harbor City Council considers requiring 2,500 feet between pot shops.

Drug Policy Alliance withdrew its 2014 California legalization initiative.

Oregon State Senate passed a bill to ban medical cannabis moratoriums.

Guam Senator Tina Muna-Barnes argued to place a legalization proposal on the ballot after the Governor refused to sign it.

Lanette and Bryan Davies face the IRS in tax court over cannabis business deductions.

Yakima City Council extended an I-502 moratorium.

Colorado earned more from pot taxes than expected.

South Carolina Senator Tom Davis introduced a bill to allow doctors to prescribe cannabis oil.

Show-Me Cannabis delayed a planned legalization initiative in Missouri.

Non-residents buy Dutch cannabis, despite ban.

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board intends to license legal cannabis businesses in moratorium cities.

Ryan Prince died during an apparent home invasion robbery targeting his dispensary-owning roommates.

South African MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini tabled a medical cannabis bill.

Liquor violations plummet as state liquor regulators focus on I-502 implementation.

Colorado Springs Planning Commission approved an appeal to allow a cannabis social club to operate.

Danielle Lei sold Girl Scout cookies outside a San Francisco dispensary.

Girl Scouts of Western Washington prohibits cookie sales outside marijuana dispensaries.

Wahkiakum County struggles to embrace legal cannabis businesses.

Massachusetts marijuana lottery losers threatened litigation.

Utah legislators moved a bill to allow low-THC cannabis oil for epileptic children.

NFL player Deonte Thompson faces pot possession charges in Florida.

Governor John Hickenlooper cautioned other governors against rushing to legalize pot, while Governor Jay Inslee said follow the will of your people.

New Hampshire legislators moved a medical cannabis growing bill.

Los Angeles Police Department tests oral swabs for roadside pot impairment tests.

Sequim City Council considers an I-502 moratorium and backup cannabis zoning on Feb 24.

Worth repeating

“We have never given any authority to any local government to not allow for the dispensing of medicine.”

Oregon Senator Floyd Prozanski on medical cannabis moratoriums

“I could have settled this and walked, but it would have been morally and ethically wrong to do so.”

Dispensary operator Lanette Davies on going to tax court over cannabis business deductions

“Incarceration is a powerful motivator.”

Former coke-snorting, alcohol-binging, OxyContin-popping, troubled-teen drug addict and Congressman Patrick Kennedy on forced marijuana treatment backed by incarceration

“People that don’t like marijuana are going to be negative about it.”

Wahkiakum County cannabis license applicant Shane Kehrli on marijuana naysayers

Contact

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