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High Times Cannabis Cup Washington Canceled

High Times Cannabis Cup Washington Canceled

Cannabis users in Washington State have one less thing to look forward to this summer. High Times magazine has run into some trouble getting approval for their annual U.S. Cannabis Cup in Washington this year. Due to the stipulation that legal marijuana must be regulated and controlled by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, the event may not be occurring in the Evergreen State moving forward.

In the past, High Times was able to use medical marijuana regulations to more easily gain venue approval for the Cannabis Cup. Today, the Washington State Liquor Control Board is standing by wording in Initiative 502 that states that the substance cannot be used in public, which has made it impossible for High Times to hold their event in Seattle this year. In an email to Seattle PI, a state board representative explained:

“The law states that you cannot consume marijuana in public, and these events are, by definition, open to the public.”

Adding more confusion to the pot are a series of catch-22s that make it nearly impossible for organizations like High Times to establish cannabis-related events in Washington. For example, having a liquor license, even with no alcohol on site, automatically disqualifies marijuana use on the premises. Moreover, the law also restricts the selling and sampling of cannabis to licensed stores, and further complicates things by not allowing it to be consumed where it is being sold.

It is precisely because of this bureaucratic labyrinth established by Washington law in conjunction with the Washington State Liquor Control Board that High Times decided has to cancel its upcoming Cannabis Cup event in Seattle. David Skye, editor-in-chief of High Times reported,

“It got to the point where we cannot find a venue in Washington that will do it so we decided to go elsewhere…as far as I can see the politicians and bureaucrats are completely screwing up your marijuana program there.”

In the end, unless lawmakers have the drive to amend the law so public use of cannabis can be allowed under situations where alcohol, for example, could be sampled and consumed, High Times and other like organizations may have to move their events on to greener pastures.

photo credit: tokesignals

Washington Radically Overhauls Medical Marijuana Program

Washington Radically Overhauls Medical Marijuana Program

Senate Bill 5052, which closes every medical marijuana dispensary in the state of Washington, has been signed into law by the state’s governor, Jay Inslee.

In addition to the closing of the dispensaries that must take place by July 1, 2016, the new law requires patients to register for a patient database where they must admit they are breaking federal law.

Only when patients are registered will they be eligible to possess medical marijuana, with the limits allowed drastically reduced from what they currently are.

Right now, patients are permitted to possess up to 24 ounces of cannabis, but they will be limited 3 ounces under the new legislation. Additionally, the number of plants that are permitted to be cultivated at home has been cut by more than 50 percent. Only 6 plants are permitted to be grown under the new law, versus the 15 allowed now.

Should the patient refuse to be registered, he or she will only be allowed to possess a single ounce of marijuana and four plants. Some patients suffering from severe, debilitating medical conditions require more than that.

Many cities in the state allow for medical dispensaries to operate, but ban retail stores that sell recreational marijuana licensed under I502.

The new bill creates a new agency, called the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board, which is responsible for giving medical cannabis endorsement licenses. To apply, candidates must show a knowledgeable history of running a compliant marijuana businesses.

The opposition claims that bill 5052 will make it extremely difficult for patients to gain access to medicine and cost the state thousands of jobs.

A non-profit group, called Sensible Washington, seeks full legalization of marijuana, and is looking over the law. They may file a lawsuit to challenge it.

H/T: TheJointBlog

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