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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

Topic: Initiative 502

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April 15, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Pot vending machines may be allowed in new stores

Pot vending machines may be coming to Washington’s pot stores. They’re apparently rolling into Colorado, or at least into one Colorado shop. The Denver Post reported that an “automated, age-verifying climate-controlled” vending machine is being installed inside a Colorado medical marijuana dispensary. Washington state is considering allowing such machines in its recreational pot shops, according to Randy…

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0 Comments | More in Government, Health | Topics: Initiative 502, liquor control board, marijuana

March 13, 2014 at 7:19 AM

Legislature down to the wire on medical marijuana fixes

It’s unclear what will happen to medical marijuana as the state Legislature heads into Thursday, its last scheduled day of this session. The Senate passed Saturday sweeping new rules for the largely unregulated medical system to reconcile it with the state’s new recreational pot system. Sponsored by Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center,  the bill passed with…

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0 Comments | More in Government, Health | Topics: Initiative 502, medical marijuana

February 25, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Mayors want cut of pot tax revenues

Almost 100 mayors from across the state are urging state lawmakers turn over a portion of legal marijuana tax revenues to cities to pay for local law enforcement and other costs arising from the new law. In a letter sent to Gov. Jay Inslee and legislative leaders, the mayors — including Seattle’s Ed Murray —…

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0 Comments | More in Government, Health | Topics: Alison Holcomb, Initiative 502, marijuana

January 21, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Bill Gates voted for legal pot, likes rules so far

Though not a big surprise to those who closely follow Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder said today he voted for Washington’s legal weed law in 2012. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Gates said he’s been impressed so far with the implementation of Initiative 502. The voter-approved law is scheduled to go into full effect around…

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0 Comments | More in General news, Health | Topics: Bill Gates, Initiative 502, marijuana

December 31, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Nearly 5,000 applications have come in for pot licenses

A lot of wannabe pot entrepreneurs waited until the state deadline to apply for business licenses.

The number of applications increased by 1,200 in the past week, as state officials continue to process a glut of applications that came in just before the Dec. 20 deadline.

In data released Tuesday, the state Liquor Control Board has now received 4,946 license applications. But that’s not the final tally as an undetermined number remain unprocessed.

The state reports 2,113 applications for growing, 1,521 for processing, and 1,312 for retail stores.

There are no limits on the number of licenses for growing and processing, although the state has capped total growing space at 2 million square feet.

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0 Comments | More in General news, Government | Topics: Initiative 502, liquor control board, marijuana

December 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Legal pot business has entrepreneurs bullish

After a big surge over the last week, Washington state has now received applications for 3,746 marijuana business licenses.

While some applicants are likely to be eliminated by residency requirements, background checks and improper locations, Washington state appears bullish about the legal marijuana business.

The 30-day window to apply for growing, processing and retail licenses closed on Dec. 20. But data released Tuesday by the state Liquor Control Board is not the final tally, as not all applications have been processed.

Growers have applied for licenses in 38 of 39 counties, with only tiny Garfield County (pop. 2,266 in 2010 census) not in the game. Applications for retail stores in cities such as Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver far exceed the number of state-allocated retail shops in those cities.

In all, entrepreneurs have applied for 867 retail licenses. The state allocated a total of 334 retail licenses.

Seattle would get just 21 retail shops under state rules. But entrepreneurs have filed 145 retail applications for Seattle. Some of those won’t pan out, like the applicant who listed the Central Library’s address for a shop. Stores must be stand-alone businesses, and no pot businesses can be within 1,000 feet of venues frequented by youth, including libraries.

Still, Seattle will likely have more qualified retail applicants than allotted stores. If that occurs, the state will conduct a lottery to determine winners.

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0 Comments | More in Government | Topics: Initiative 502, liquor control board, marijuana

December 16, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Seattle creates $27 fine for public pot smoking

Seattle police officers will soon have authority to write $27 tickets for consuming pot in public, similar to the sanctions for publicly drinking alcohol.

But don’t expect an avalanche of tickets from the cops who gave out bags of Doritos at Hempfest. The law unanimously approved by the City Council Monday calls for police to give warnings “whenever possible” before issuing fines.

The new fines take effect 30 days after the legislation is signed by the mayor.

“Everyone’s probably going to get several free passes,” said Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a spokesman for the Seattle Police Department. “We want to be generous.”

Under the new law it’s likely that officers would fine only chronic offenders who ignore warnings, Whitcomb explained. He said giving warnings won’t be a hassle for police, and called them a good thing. Whitcomb said beat-officers patrolling places like Westlake Park get to know some people as fixtures. If officers find someone consuming after several warnings, then they’ll conclude that warnings aren’t working and will issue a fine.

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0 Comments | More in General news, Government | Topics: Initiative 502, marijuana, Seattle City Council

December 16, 2013 at 4:29 PM

King County blocks new medical-marijuana shops

The Metropolitan King County Council today approved a one-year moratorium on new medical-marijuana dispensaries and gardens in the unincorporated areas of the county. In a unanimous vote, the council adopted the emergency legislation proposed by County Executive Dow Constantine. The bill went through an expedited process and takes effect immediately. Constantine believed the normal process might have alerted…

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0 Comments | More in Government, Health, Politics | Topics: Initiative 502, King County Council, medical marijuana

December 11, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Liquor Board says keep home grows for medical marijuana

Washington state Liquor Control Board members signaled today they will recommend to lawmakers that medical-marijuana patients be allowed to continue growing pot in their homes.

Board members would allow qualified patients, or designated providers, to grow up to six plants, three flowering and three non-flowering. A formal recommendation, expected at next week’s board meeting, would reverse a proposal by staff at three state departments — Health, Revenue and the Liquor Control Board (LCB) – to outlaw home growing.

That proposal was the most controversial of those made by the staff. In public comments about the proposals, keeping home grows was the most common request, made by 362 people. Advocates said home growing would provide patients with more affordable marijuana and rare strains, believed to have therapeutic qualities, that they might not find in dispensaries or new recreational retail stores.

“We’re all in agreement on home grows,” said Sharon Foster, chair of the three-member board. Board members today discussed changes they’d like to see to staff proposals, but did not take formal action.

That will come next week, when members vote on recommendations due to the Legislature by Jan. 1. The hope is that lawmakers will reconcile the heavily taxed and regulated recreational system with the largely unregulated and untaxed medical system. If that is not done, state consultants have predicted the medical system would siphon customers from the new recreational system, and deter it from its goal of undercutting the illicit market.

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0 Comments | More in General news, Health | Topics: Initiative 502, liquor control board, medical marijuana

August 29, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Feds won’t challenge Washington’s pot law

The federal government will not try to block Washington state’s recreational marijuana legalization law, Gov. Jay Inslee announced this morning. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder delivered his long-awaited decision on a potential legal challenge in a phone call with Inslee and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper just after 9 a.m., according to Inslee’s staff. Colorado’s legalization law, also…

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0 Comments | More in General news, Government, Homepage, Politics | Topics: Bob Ferguson, Eric Holder, federal government

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