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A rundown of i502, and what it means to you

DISCLAIMER: The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

Washington State’s i502 was a groundbreaking legislation that allowed the residents of WA to legally buy and use marijuana for recreational purposes.  This new legislation has created an entirely new paradigm for consumers or purveyors of marijuana in WA.  To help understand this new reality, we have compiled some information here that we feel would be helpful for entrepreneurs in the industry, or anyone who wants a bit more information.

Check out the 1st recreational marijuana sale in WA:

General i502 FAQ

The following has been taken from the WSLCB website

Can I grow my own marijuana now? Can I sell my homegrown marijuana?

Home grown marijuana for recreational use, as well as sale, remains illegal. Recreational use marijuana must be purchased from a state-licensed retailer.

What is a license? How do I get it? When can I get it?

I-502 creates three separate tiers: marijuana producer, marijuana processor, and marijuana retailer. Specific license requirements are detailed in the rules which are available here. Presently the Board is not accepting license applications. The best way to keep up to date on the process is to register for email notifications on the WSLCB website

How much does a license cost?

I-502 establishes a license application fee at $250 and a $1,000 renewal fee for each of the three licenses; marijuana producer, marijuana processor and marijuana retailer.

Can existing retail stores incorporate marijuana sales into their existing business?

No. The initiative is clear that retail outlets may only sell marijuana, marijuana concentrates, and marijuana infused products and marijuana paraphernalia.

Can customers consume in a retail store?

No. On-premise consumption is not allowed under Initiative 502.

Will non-Washington residents be able to purchase marijuana?

Yes, but the marijuana products are to be consumed in Washington.

What will the WSLCB do to ensure public safety, especially preventing access by minors?

Public safety is central to the WSLCB mission. As expected by the voters, the rules we create will include minimums for security, preventing minors’ access to marijuana and other provisions. Educating retailers and preventing minors access to alcohol is an important part of our enforcement work today. Something similar for marijuana sales is likely.

Can I still be drug tested now that marijuana is legal?

I-502 does not address the topic of drug testing but it is our understanding that employers may still conduct drug testing at their discretion. Since marijuana is illegal under federal law institutions that receive federal funds will still be subject to mandated testing. Organizations such as the NFL and NBA have issued statements that marijuana consumption is a violation of their conduct policy and they intend to continue testing for it.

The initiative says I cannot consume marijuana in public. What is the definition of “in public?”

Initiative 502 states that it is unlawful to open/consume a package of marijuana or marijuana infused product in view of the general public.

How much tax revenue will I-502 generate?

Estimates range anywhere between $0 and $2 billion dollars during the first five years. Without knowing what the market will look like or what the federal reaction will be, it is not presently possible to accurately gauge the total amount of revenue produced.

How is it going to be taxed?

The initiative applies a 25% excise tax on each level of the system: producer to a processor, processor to a retailer, and retailer to the customer. In addition, B&O taxes on the production and local retail sales taxes apply.

Are there restrictions on the type of advertising allowed for recreational marijuana?

All marijuana advertising and labels of useable marijuana and marijuana-infused products sold in the state of Washington may not contain any statement, or illustration that:

  1. Is false or misleading;
  2. Promotes over consumption;
  3. Represents the use of marijuana has curative or therapeutic effects;
  4. Depicts a child or other person under legal age to consume marijuana, or includes:
    • Objects, such as toys, characters, or cartoon characters suggesting the presence of a child, or any other depiction designed in any manner to be especially appealing to children or other persons under legal age to consume marijuana; or
    • Is designed in any manner that would be especially appealing to children or other persons under twenty-one years of age.

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