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Seattle Officials Want Private Pot Clubs, Home Delivery of Marijuana

June 12th

SEATTLE, WA — Seattle officials are recommending that Washington state authorize private marijuana clubs and examine allowing home delivery of cannabis as they work out rules for a recreational pot market, according to a letter sent to state regulators.

The recommendations sent by the Seattle city attorney with the blessing of the city’s mayor are among the hundreds received by the state’s Liquor Control Board before a Monday deadline for public comment on draft rules issued.

Voters in Washington state and Colorado in November became the first in the nation to approve taxing and regulating marijuana sales at the state level. Pot remains illegal under federal law, although it remains unclear whether the Obama administration will move to block the states from implementing their recreational markets.

Proposals for private pot clubs have been controversial in Washington state and Colorado, even while personal possession of the drug is already allowed in both states.

A letter sent to the Liquor Control Board on Monday from Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, which a mayoral spokesman said also represents the views of Mayor Mike McGinn, also said that marijuana consumption clubs should be provided to tourists and renters whose landlords do not permit marijuana use.

“We don’t want to limit it to where homeowners are in a special, better class, an. . . . . READ MORE

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The Starbucks of Pot? Ex-Microsoft Exec Wants to Create National Marijuana Brand

May 31st

dispensary jars of marijuana

SEATTLE, WA — A former Microsoft executive plans to create the first U.S. national marijuana brand, with cannabis he hopes to eventually import legally from Mexico, and said he was kicking off his business by acquiring medical pot dispensaries in three U.S. states.

Jamen Shively, a former Microsoft corporate strategy manager, said he envisions his Seattle-based enterprise becoming the leader in both recreational and medical cannabis – much like Starbucks is the dominant name in coffee, he said.

Shively, 45, whose six years at Microsoft ended in 2009, said he was soliciting investors for $10 million in start-up money.

The use, sale and possession of marijuana remains illegal in the United States under federal law. Two U.S. states have, however, legalized recreational marijuana use and are among 18 states that allow it for medical use.

“It’s a giant market in search of a brand,” Shively said of the marijuana industry. “We would be happy if we get 40 percent of it worldwide.”

A 2005 United Nations report estimated the global marijuana trade to be valued at $142 billion.

Washington state and Colorado became the first two U.S. states to legalize recreational marijuana when voters approved l. . . . . READ MORE

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Marijuana Waste Helps Turn Pot Eating Pigs into Tasty Pork Roast

May 21st

happy pig

OLYMPIA, WA – With Washington state about to embark on a first-of-its-kind legal market for recreational marijuana, the budding ranks of new cannabis growers face a quandary over what to do with the excess stems, roots and leaves from their plants.

Susannah Gross, who owns a five-acre farm north of Seattle, is part of a group experimenting with a solution that seems to make the most of marijuana’s appetite-enhancing properties – turning weed waste into pig food.

Four pigs whose feed was supplemented with potent plant leavings during the last four months of their lives ended up 20 to 30 pounds heavier than the half-dozen other pigs from the same litter when they were all sent to slaughter in March.

“They were eating more, as you can imagine,” Gross said.

Giving farm animals the munchies is the latest outcome of a ballot measure passed by Washington voters in November making their state one of the first to legalize the recreational use of pot. The other was Colorado. Both were among about 20 states with medical marijuana laws already on their books.

The federal government still classifies cannabis as an illegal narcotic, and the Obama administration has not yet said what actions, if any, it will take in answer to the newly passed recreational we. . . . . READ MORE

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Washington State Releases Proposed Recreational Marijuana Rules

May 17th

SEATTLE, WA —  Eight months after voters approved the Initiative 502, legalizing the  adult use of marijuana, officials in Washington have taken the first steps towards establishing rules for the state’s new recreational marijuana industry.

The 46 pages of draft regulations announced by the state Liquor Control Board Thursday  include “seed to store” tracking of marijuana, limits on the number of retail outlets per county, bans of marijuana extracts, including hash, oils, and concentrates, and mandatory 24-hour video surveillance at all marijuana related businesses.

The official Washington state logo issued by the State Liquor Control Board for marijuana and marijuana infused products.

The official Washington state logo issued by the State Liquor Control Board for marijuana and marijuana infused products.

Labeling requirements for marijuana and infused edible products would be required to warn that consumption of marijuana “may be habit forming,” and are unlawful outside of Washington State.  An official state-issued logo featuring Washington state with a marijuana. . . . . READ MORE

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DC Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Likely Coming Soon

May 17th

The Peace Monument, Washington, DC (file)

The Peace Monument, Washington, DC (file)

WASHINGTON, DC — Faced with the prospect of having District of Columbia marijuana policy determined directly by voters through the initiative process, at least two members of the DC Council are considering introducing legislation that would decriminalize pot possession in the nation’s capital.

The Washington Post reported the Council members Marion Berry (D-Ward 8) and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) are formulating a decriminalization bill, hoping to settle the matter before outside groups petition the issue onto the ballot.

Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) — who as chairman of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee would shepherd the legislation — are formulating a proposal to eliminate criminal penalties for those caught with small amounts of cannabis or subject offenders to fines.

“Absolutely, it’s time we look at decriminalization of marijuana in the District of Columbia,” said Wells, who is chairman of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee and who is running for mayor next year. “It’s time we enter the 21st century and stop criminalizing pe. . . . . READ MORE

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Washington Close to Releasing Recreational Marijuana Industry Rules

May 16th

Revelers celebrate the end of marijuana prohibition in Washington on Dec. 6, 2012, following a midnight countdown at Seattle's Space Needle (AP)

Revelers celebrate the end of marijuana prohibition in Washington on Dec. 6, 2012, following a midnight countdown at Seattle’s Space Needle (AP)

SEATTLE, WA  – They’ve spent nearly eight months visiting marijuana grow houses, studying the science of getting high and earning nicknames like “the queen of weed.” Now, officials in Washington are taking their first stab at setting rules for the state’s new legal weed industry.

The state is expected to release preliminary draft rules Thursday afternoon, possibly covering an array of topics ranging from how pot should be grown, labeled and tested for quality assurance to what types of security should be required at state-licensed pot businesses.

But some of the most interesting questions – such as how much marijuana will be grown and how many retail stores will be licensed – aren’t likely to be answered yet. The state’s official pot consultant is still working to estimate how much marijuana people here use, and those estimates will help determine how much pot. . . . . READ MORE

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Seattle Police Chief Speaks at Pro-Marijuana Rally

May 12th

Jim Pugel

SEATTLE, WA —  In the wake of Washington’s historic  marijuana legalization measure last November, Seattle Police Department’s top cop,  Interim Chief Jim Pugel, spoke at the Cannabis Freedom March at Westlake Park on Saturday.

“We are not here to condemn it. We are not here to endorse it,” he said of marijuana use. “The police are here to make sure it is all done legally.”

Instead of fighting the voter approved measure, the Seattle Police Department have embraced the change, and are adapting to the new state law.

“We are public servants and we want to make sure what they voted for works,” Pugel added.

Pugel called on smokers to respect law enforcement and obey the law.

“Don’t use it in public, don’t provide to minors, buy only from lawful dispensaries,” he said.

Pugel added that the new law legalizing marijuana for adults made police officers’ jobs easier.

Several hundred people took part in Saturday’s “Cannabis Freedom March,” which was dubbed “A Funeral for Prohibition” by Seattle Hempfest organizers.

The annual march made its way from Volunteer Park to Westlake Center in Downtown Seattle.

Other  speakers i. . . . . READ MORE

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Lost Your Weed on a Seattle Bus? You Can Get It Back.

May 11th

King County Metro 2011 Orion VII 7124

SEATTLE, WA — City bus drivers in Seattle are under orders to handle small amounts of marijuana left behind by passengers as normal lost-and-found items that can be recovered by their rightful owners, now that pot is legal under state law, a transit official said on Friday.

“We collect a lot of things on Metro Transit buses, from umbrellas to lunch sacks to briefcases,” said Jeff Switzer, a spokesman for the King County Department of Transportation, Metro Transit Division, which serves Seattle and surrounding suburbs. “This is one more thing we’ll be handling in this fashion.”

Washington state and Colorado voters passed ballot initiatives in November making the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana by adults legal for recreational purposes for the first time ever under state law.

The U.S. government still classifies cannabis as an illegal narcotic, and federal officials have said they are studying how to respond to the newly enacted marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado.

Nearly 20 states, including those two, have previously declared marijuana legal for medical purposes.

Police in Seattle, Washington’s largest city, already have shown a newfound tolerance for pot, declining t. . . . . READ MORE

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