Pot Sellers Lobby Against MMJ in Washington State
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Pot Sellers Lobby Against MMJ in Washington State');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Pot Sellers Lobby Against MMJ in Washington State
Posted by CN Staff on January 15, 2015 at 13:17:24 PT
By Karen Weise 
Source: Business Week 
Washington state’s first recreational marijuana stores opened last July, the culmination of a broad-based and long effort to legalize the drug. In 1998 voters passed a ballot initiative offering pot smokers legal protection against prosecution if they had a doctor’s note saying they needed the drug for medical reasons. A legal loophole let marijuana dispensaries sell pot to people with the notes. Washington’s lightly regulated system—it’s the only state that didn’t set up a patient registry or issue ID cards—allowed a medical marijuana market to flourish.
In 2012, Washington passed a ballot measure legalizing the sale of marijuana for recreational use. Finally adults could get high without a medical excuse. The initiative established a tax and licensing regime for pot growers, processors, and retailers overseen by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which mandates extensive product testing and package labeling for marijuana products. That’s made recreational pot about 50 percent more expensive than medical marijuana. “Those are all extra costs that are incurred under the law that medicinal pot doesn’t have,” says Lynsee Swisher, director of Nine Point Growth Industries, a licensed grower of strains such as Opal OG Kush.Now the new retailers are hiring lobbyists to push state legislators in Olympia to regulate medical cannabis. They want medical marijuana to meet the same safety standards as recreational pot and say customers who aren’t true patients should have to buy the high-tax retail product. Some dispensaries are bringing in their own lobbyists to make sure they don’t get squeezed out. Amber Lewis was hired in November by an alliance of medical and recreational businesses that want to figure a way that’s fair to both sides. “I’ve learned that in the cannabis industry, things are very loose, until they’re not,” says Lewis.While the state doesn’t have an exact count of medical dispensaries, they far outnumber the 334 recreational marijuana stores licensed to open. In Seattle alone, about 300 dispensaries operate, but only 21 retail licenses were issued, says Rick Garza, director of the Washington State Liquor Control Board. The licenses for the new retail stores were doled out by lottery last May. It cost just $250 to enter, and more than 1,000 people applied for licenses. That included newcomers to the pot business who hadn’t participated in the political battle to legalize marijuana and had no common bond with medical marijuana sellers.Swisher was among them. Last fall she joined the newly formed Washington CannaBusiness Association, which represents licensed recreational pot sellers. Its executive director, Vicki Christophersen, has also lobbied for the Boys & Girls Clubs Washington State Alliance and the Washington Refuse & Recycling Association. The group supports a bill sponsored by the state’s Republican Senate Majority Whip Ann Rivers that requires medical dispensaries to meet licensing and product testing standards and restricts the state’s medical-use designation to oils, edibles, and other concentrated forms of cannabis. Only recreational stores would be allowed to sell dried bud for smoking. Another bill, drafted by Democratic Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, would make retail outlets responsible for distributing medical pot alongside commercial products. “You have patients on one side and recreational users on the other,” says Lewis. “There is not a legislator I have met who is not carefully watching.”The bottom line: Newly legal pot sellers in Washington are pushing for laws that would limit competition from medical dispensaries.Weise is a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek in Seattle. Source: Business Week (US)Author: Karen Weise   Published: January 15, 2015Copyright: 2015 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.URL: bwreader businessweek.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on January 16, 2015 at 17:13:31 PT
you are aware that Washington's law was passed by referendum yes? I don't think the legislators or Mark Kleinman had anything to do with the language of the referendum.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Lucas on January 16, 2015 at 15:31:02 PT
fake legalization
> I believe it was co-written by the ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and funded by the late Peter Lewis.
> in case anyone was wondering who is responsible for itactually, prohibitionist legislators hired prohibitionist cannabis restrainers:BOTEC Analysis, Inc. Team Leads
Project Leader: Dr Mark Kleiman, CEO BOTEC, Ph.D. Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Dr. Kleiman teaches public policy at UCLA. He is an expert in many aspects of criminal and drug policy, including probation and parole, incarceration, and marijuana policy. He is the co-author of the book Marijuana Legalization: What Everybody Needs to Know.Its the most bogus legalization they could come up with, complete with excess tax burden that creates pressure on the legitimate medical cannabis industrya win for Kleiman, as he both restricts legal cannabis, AND takes a sideswipe at killing medical cannabisno, it is not the ACLU or DPA that is responsible for the fact that legal cannabis costs twice what medical cannabis costsIt is the money grabbing legislators of Washington State, who conspired to hire Mark Kleiman to write their fake legalization program
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on January 16, 2015 at 12:41:29 PT
this law
I believe it was co-written by the ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and funded by the late Peter Lewis. in case anyone was wondering who is responsible for it
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by observer on January 15, 2015 at 14:00:10 PT
Divided and Ruled, Divided and Conquered
Too bad that both MMJ and recreational users and sellers in Washington state can't get together to roll back those toxic BOTEC punitive taxes. Of course government will hire toadies, lackeys, yes-men, and other servile yet scholarly-sounding boot-lickers and schmucks like Klieman's BOTEC to tell them what they want to hear. That isn't surprising. What is surprising is how people fall for that bogus, self-serving "the experts" spiel time after time. So, yet more toxic BOTEC tax victims in Washington State. Thanks government, for strangling another business as government bureaucrats and BOTEC government-paycheck-cashers laugh all the way to the bank again: 
That's, what, thirty people out of work? Hundreds stranded on a tiny island with no access to cannabis now. But life is sweet for government and BOTEC. Follow the money.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment