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Washington Cannabis Laws: Commonly Asked Questions
Although many people think of either California or Colorado when it comes to establishing cannabis laws and standard practices in the United States, the state of Washington actually became the first U.S. state to legalize recreational cannabis and allow recreational weed dispensary sales on Dec. 6, 2012. Pulling ahead of Colorado by a mere three hours, Washington cannabis laws have been reviewed by many other states around the country. How familiar are you with the lay of the land here?
Is weed legal in Washington state?
First and foremost, is weed legal in Washington state? Yes! Both medicinal and recreational are available to the public. The latter can be purchased by those over 21 years old who possess a valid ID, AKA a driver’s license, passport, identification card from any U.S. state or territory or province of Canada, U.S. Armed Forces identification card, Merchant Marine identification card or Government-Issued Indian Tribal identification card from Washington state.
Washington Cannabis Laws
Although the answer is yes to the is weed legal in Washington state question, there are some restrictions. Purchase limits for non-medical consumers is up to one ounce, seven grams of extract for inhalation, 16 ounces of cannabis-infused product (“edibles”), and 72 ounces of cannabis-infused product in liquid form (“edible” beverages). Medical patients may possess 21 grams of concentrates, 85 grams of usable marijuana flower, 48 ounces of marijuana-infused solid product, and 1.69 gallons of marijuana-infused liquid product. Further, the state dictates all edibles must be individually wrapped in fully sealed packaging in no more than 10 mg doses.
Licensed retailers are the only parties who may sell any type of cannabis products. Anyone offering to sell or resell any type of cannabis products without a license are in violation of both state and federal law. Additionally, it is illegal to sniff test marijuana products in a recreational dispensary in Washington. This law is in practice in only one other state. Although only a licensed recreational weed dispensary may sell cannabis, adults 21 and over and patients with valid registry ID cards can buy and then gift cannabis to other adults in the state. Quantities must not exceed the legal limits for recreational and medical marijuana.
Don’t be fooled by a label boasting the product as “organic” as this is a federally regulated term that cannot be officially connected with cannabis until the day the federal government de-schedules marijuana. For those concerned about chemicals, Washington State law actually has a shorter list of acceptable pesticides than the formal guidelines for Organic Products. Further, all cannabis products sold in the Evergreen State must be grown and processed in the Evergreen State.
As of April 2, 2022, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (“Board”, “LCB”) requires all cannabis flower and intermediate cannabis products to be tested for pesticide contamination. The LCB Chair David Postman stated in the Board’s release that “testing for pesticides and heavy metals adds a deeper layer of confidence for consumers that these [cannabis] products are free of chemical or biological residuals.” Per the Cannabis Industry Journal, heavy metals are common environmental contaminants resulting from industrial activities such as mining operations, industrial waste, automotive emissions and farm/household water run-off. These affect water and soil, and become concentrated in plants, animals, pesticides and the sediments used to make fertilizers.
Consuming cannabis in public view is still illegal and carries a maximum fine of $100. The state’s definition of ‘public’ includes federal buildings and property, as well as federal land, parks and forest reserves. Private property is the only accepted place; visitors to the state must ensure their lodging allows consumption onsite. Possession of more than one ounce of cannabis, and up to 40 grams, is a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and 24 hours to 90 days jail time. Possession of more than 40 grams is a felony, with a fine of $10,000 and a maximum jail time of five years.
Driving legally with cannabis products means no open containers and product is to be stored in the farthest back area of the vehicle, similar to alcohol laws. Do not drive while under the influence of cannabis, and do not ferry anyone while they smoke or otherwise consume cannabis in the back seat. Do not transport cannabis procured in Washington State across state lines. This no-transport rule is universal for most legalized states.
The Best Recreational Dispensary in Washington
Buds Garage is your local garage-themed recreational weed dispensary offering a wide range of recreational cannabis products by sourcing the best strains and products. With Washington locations in Everett and Birch Bay, our highly educated budtenders approach all interactions with kindness and respect to encourage discovery for all patrons embarking on their own cannabis journey.
Buds Garage is the best recreational dispensary in Washington, and it’s no surprise why. In addition to the fantastic selection of recreational weed products, Buds Garage rewards its customers for their loyalty. Make your recreational weed dispensary purchases go the extra mile! Next time you stop by the shop, register with your phone number at check out. Get the full reward program details on our Everett and Birch Bay menus, along with daily deals and current discounts for veterans and seniors. Order online or stop by today!