Category: Initiative 502

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“Organic” Labeling of Marijuana is Not Permitted

Many sellers of marijuana and marijuana-infused products are using the term “organic” on their labels. They may be unaware that the use of “organic” is strictly regulated by the USDA and the states. It simply isn’t permitted on marijuana products. Essentially, “organic” is not permitted on a label unless (a) the product is certified by … Continue Reading

Compliance Checklist for Mandatory Quality Assurance Testing of Marijuana Products

To considerable fanfare – and the occasional stumble – the legal recreational marijuana industry opened for business in Washington state last week. So far, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) has issued the state’s first 24 marijuana retailer licenses, representing the first of 334 licenses allotted by the WSLCB for retail sales who have … Continue Reading

Doors Open for Business for Licensed Marijuana Retailers in Washington State

Hundreds of eager customers lined up outside of Washington’s newly licensed marijuana retailers on Tuesday to make history by participating in the first legal sales of recreational marijuana in the state. Earlier this week, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) issued the state’s first 24 marijuana retailer licenses. These businesses represent the first of … Continue Reading

Reclamation Will Not Approve the Use of Federal Irrigation Water for Marijuana Cultivation

This post is authored by Environment, Land Use and Natural Resources lawyer Kirk Maag of Stoel Rives. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued a temporary policy regarding the use of water from Reclamation reservoirs for activities prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA)—for example, growing marijuana. The temporary policy is effective for one … Continue Reading

WSLCB Approves Lottery to Rank Marijuana Retail License Applicants

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) has approved the use of a lottery system to select the apparent successful applicants for marijuana retail licenses. WSLCB staff recommended the independent, double-blind process in order to limit the number marijuana retail stores per county as directed by Initiative 502, the measure legalizing the recreational use of … Continue Reading

Colorado Amends Ethics Rules to Provide Safe Harbor for Lawyers Advising Marijuana Businesses

According to a new comment adopted by Colorado’s Supreme Court last week, Colorado lawyers who provide legal services to state-regulated medical and recreational marijuana businesses will not violate the state’s Rules of Professional Conduct. The rule change added the following comment to Rule 1.2 regarding the scope of representation and allocation of authority between the … Continue Reading

First Recreational Marijuana Licenses Issued in Washington

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) issued the state’s first licenses to produce and process recreational marijuana today. According to news reports, the licenses were issued to Spokane’s Sean Green who will operate his business under the trade name Kouchlock Productions. The WSLCB began processing applications for all three license types (producer, processor and … Continue Reading

Legal Marijuana Business Faces Increased Local Resistance in Wake of Recent Washington State AG Opinion

Despite the fact that implementation of Initiative 502 (I-502), a measure legalizing the recreational use of marijuana that was approved by Washington voters in 2012, is in full swing, and other states such as Florida and New York are loosening their laws on the use of medical marijuana, there is growing resistance to legal marijuana … Continue Reading

Ethical Challenges for Lawyers in the Face of State Marijuana Legalization

UPDATE: Although the RPC proposal mentioned below is still under consideration by the Washington State Supreme Court, the KCBA Board of Trustees has adopted an ethics advisory opinion to assist the bar in the interim as attorneys consider practice issues under the existing RPCs. The full text of the KCBA Ethics Advisory Opinion on I-502 & Rules of … Continue Reading

Washington Liquor Control Board Announces Marijuana Licensing Educational Seminars

Over the next few weeks, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) Marijuana Licensing staff will be conducting a series of educational seminars across Washington State. During the seminars, WSLCB staff will be advising potential licensees of the license application process under Initiative 502 and will be available to answer any additional questions. Those interested … Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Federal Marijuana Policy Hearing

With several states now moving forward with legalized medical or recreational marijuana regulatory schemes, how to obtain business financing remains a hurdle legal marijuana growers and distributers have yet to solve. As noted in a recent New York Times article, “financial institutions, security providers and landlords that serve marijuana businesses can be prosecuted for racketeering, … Continue Reading

What the Federal Government’s New Marijuana Guidance Means for Washington Businesses

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice finally addressed its enforcement strategy as it relates to the recent Washington and Colorado initiatives legalizing marijuana in those jurisdictions.  In a memo issued to U.S. Attorneys (PDF), Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole announced that the United States would not sue the states to overturn the voter-endorsed … Continue Reading

DEA Raids Seattle Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Months After Passage of I-502

Several news sources reported on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, that U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents raided a number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the Puget Sound area. However, DEA Spokesperson Jodie Underwood did not provide details about how many dispensaries were being targeted or how many search warrants were being executed. These raids come … Continue Reading

WSLCB Holds Work Session on I-502 Draft Rules and Comments

About a month ago, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) issued initial draft rules implementing Initiative 502 (I-502)(PDF), Washington state’s recently enacted marijuana reform law. You can read more about those draft rules here in one of our previous blog posts on the subject. Since mid-May, WSLCB has been accepting public comment regarding the … Continue Reading

Seminar on I-502 Impacts on Washington State Business and Real Estate Transactions

Stoel Rives attorneys Susan Johnson and Jim Shore will be part of the faculty for a one-day Law Seminars International conference on June 11 regarding Washington’s Initiative 502 that legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Susan will serve as co-chair of the conference, while Jim will present on I502 implications for employer policies and procedures. … Continue Reading

Marijuana Experts Host Live Chat to Discuss New I-502 Rules

With the initial draft rules implementing Initiative 502 (I-502) (PDF) issued just last week and still fresh on the public’s mind, Seattle Times reporter Bob Young and three I-502 experts held a live chat today to answer specific questions about the new rules. State Liquor Control Board Deputy Director Rick Garza, ACLU of Washington drug-policy director … Continue Reading

Washington Liquor Control Board Releases Draft I-502 Rules: what you need to know

Watch for our I-502 draft rules cheat sheet, coming soon! The wait is officially over, folks. Yesterday, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) met its projected mid-May deadline to issue initial draft rules implementing Initiative 502 (I-502) (PDF), Washington state’s recently enacted marijuana reform law. The 46-page proposed addition to the Washington Administrative Code … Continue Reading

I-502 Draft Rules Expected Next Week

It looks like the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) is on track to meet the first of several milestones in the implementation of Initiative 502 (I-502), Washington State’s recently passed marijuana reform law. According to a tweet earlier today from I-502 Implementation (@I502implement), we can expect to see the first draft of I-502 implementing … Continue Reading

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Still Silent on Federal Government’s Response to I-502

As we discussed in our December 19, 2012, and January 14, 2013, blog posts here and here, there is inherent tension between I-502’s marijuana legalization policy and federal law. Under the Controlled Substances Act (“Act”), marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, making the possession and sale of marijuana illegal under federal law. Since … Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing What I-502’s Rollout May Look Like for Businesses with LXBN TV

Following up on our posts on Washington Initiative 502, my colleague Claire Mitchell had the chance to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN regarding the initiative and its implementation for businesses. In the brief interview, Claire explained the rulemaking by the Washington State Liquor Control Board currently underway and offered thoughts on what Washington’s marijuana industry may look like. … Continue Reading

Washington State Liquor Control Board Announces Timeline for Implementing I-502

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) announced its tentative timeline for implementation of Initiative 502 (I-502) yesterday. WSLCB developed this timeline in order to keep the public informed and to identify significant milestones in the implementation process. Rulemaking began in early December with the filing of CR101 for the Producer License, a notice of proposed rulemaking. WSLCB is still accepting public … Continue Reading

A Cautionary Tale in the Conflict Between Federal and State Law Over Marijuana Legalization

As we pointed out in our post “Understanding the Conflict Between Federal Law and Washington Initiative 502,” possession and sale of marijuana remains illegal under federal law even as states push to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use. We quoted Jenny Durkan, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, as stating that … Continue Reading
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