Frequently Asked Questions
I-502 – Washington’s New Marijuana Regulation Law
Q: Will you cover how to start a MEDICAL marijuana business in Washington as well?
A: Yes. We will cover how to start and operate medical marijuana businesses in the state of Washington. We will cover corporate structures and what cities and areas of Washington state are real “marijuana friendly”.
Q: When does I 502 take effect?
A: Here is a summary of important dates for implementation of I-502:
December 6th, 2012: Initiative 502 went into effect.
On this date it will be legal for adults 21 and over to possess limited amounts of marijuana under Washington law. I-502’s Driving Under the Influence provisions will also take effect.
December 1st, 2013: Rule making Must Be Completed.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Health must conduct rule making as specified by I-502 to set up a system to license and regulate the production, processing, and sale of marijuana. No commercial business can be set up until rule making is complete and licenses are obtained. September 1st, 2015: Evaluation The Washington State Institute for Public Policy must provide with a preliminary evaluation and recommendations regarding the cost-benefit outcomes of I-502. Additional evaluations will be produced in 2017, 2022, and 2032.
TBD: Tax Rate Adjustment Recommendations The Washington State Liquor Control Board shall review I-502 tax levels and make recommendations to the legislature regarding adjustments that would further the goal of discouraging use while undercutting illegal market prices.
Q: When can adults legally possess and use marijuana?
A: As of December 6, 2012, adults age 21 and over in Washington state can no longer be arrested under state law for possessing limited amounts of marijuana.
Q: How much marijuana can adults legally possess under I 502 rules?
A: Under Washington law, adults can possess 1 oz. of useable marijuana, 16 oz. of marijuana infused product in solid form, and 72 oz. of marijuana-infused product in liquid form.
Q: Can I grow marijuana at home?
A: No. Unless you are an authorized medical marijuana patient under Washington law, home growing is not allowed under I 502.
Q: When can marijuana retail outlets sell marijuana?
A: The Washington State Liquor Control Board, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Health will have until December 1, 2013 to complete rule making that will create a system to license and regulate the production, processing, and sale of marijuana. Commercial businesses can be set up after rule making is complete and once a license is obtained.
Q: Where will stores be located?
A: Licenses will authorize stand-alone marijuana businesses, with similar restrictions to the old state liquor stores. Marijuana stores must be located at least 1,000 feet away from schools and parks. The number of marijuana store licenses will also be determined in rule making.
Q: Does I 502 law change Washington’s medical marijuana law?
A: No. Washington’s Medical Use of Cannabis Act remains unchanged.
Q: Can marijuana be used in public?
A: It will remain unlawful under Washington law to use marijuana in public. Similar to a traffic offense, violations will result in a civil infraction bringing a fine but not arrest.
Q: Can a prospective employee still be drug tested for marijuana when applying for a job?
A: I 502 does not change Washington state employment law, which allows for employment drug testing in some situations.
Q: How do the DUI provisions work under I 502 guidelines?
A: I-502 creates a standard for marijuana impairment while driving, similar to the .08 for alcohol. The DUI provisions focus on active THC in one’s system that can impair a driver and not inactive marijuana metabolites that do not cause impairment. As is currently the law, an officer will need to have probable cause for an arrest and reasonable grounds to believe a driver is impaired before requiring a breath or blood test. Nor does it change the fact that blood tests can only be administered by medical professionals.
Q: How will the federal government respond to I 502 rules?
A: Proponents of the new law look forward to working with federal officials in a spirit of collaboration and cooperation to ensure that it is fairly implemented. The law’s tightly regulated system will improve public safety and increase respect for law enforcement. We hope that federal officials will respect the will of our state’s voters and not enforce federal laws against Washington residents who are obeying state law.
The rules of I 502 have not been made yet but, the draft rules came out 05/16/13. With passing of the law, the creation of a new industry has started in Washington state encompassing thousands of jobs and endless business opportunities.
The Liquor Control Board is tasked with creation of industry rules and strict regulations that must balance the viability of cannabis businesses with the demands of state and Federal authorities; all while cannabis remaining against Federal law and the use, possession, and distribution of cannabis remain Federal crimes under the CSA.
The creation of a new industry requires the assistance of multiple professionals to ensure success and sustainability. Lawyers, accountants, insurance brokers, investment firms, local government, websites, advertising, consultants and many others will all play a part in the implementation of I-502. Nonetheless, hard questions still remain, and this seminar is designed to answer those questions.
WCI seminar will cover current penalties stemming from violations of I-502, how the initiative is designed to fend off a Federal attack, and exactly how California and other medical marijuana states have been operating this entire time with their “medical” marijuana industry. The hot topics of issues of access to banking, cannabis insurance and investments are also discussed.
Q: If I 502 is still in the rule making process, what’s the point of taking these seminars?
A: WCI seminars put your right in front of industry professionals. We have folks from the Washington Liquor Control Board, who have prepared a detailed course and will have an open Q & A. You will meet attorneys who specialize in marijuana criminal defense. You will hear from a business attorney who specializes in marijuana business formation. You will talk to tax a attorney who will explain possible ways to file taxes. Irregardless of what happens with the I 502 regulations, cannabis is considered illegal under federal law, thus banking and handling how to pay taxes will still be an issue because of 208E tax code. Our attorneys have prepared a detailed course concerning those issues and they will be addressed at our seminars. You will meet other industry professionals that are important resources for your business operations such as, cannabis testing labs, merchant accounts, banking professionals, insurance agents who specialize in cannabis business insurance and did we mention attorneys. These industry contacts are vital to your success in your I 502 business or medical marijuana business venture. Not to mention you will get to learn how to grow the best grade marijuana with techniques from professional growers and cannabis edibles, oils and extracts. You will get advertising advice from the advertising specialists on how to effectively market your business for long term success. Also, a retired sheriff deputy will give a hands on course on police encounters.
If you plan on getting into this business, then you need to consult with an attorney who handles marijuana related businesses and make industry contacts. We have done all the research for you and prepared a detailed course and brought all the industry contacts to you in our seminars. Getting into this business without an attorney consultation or taking advice from Youtube videos or cannabis related forums from people who’s experience is not clear is not recommended. If you hired an attorney for a private consultation, you could pay $1,000 to $1,500 just for them to teach you the laws and give you advice for an hour or so. We bring the industry attorneys to you for two full days, in a detailed course prepared by those attorneys. You will ask the questions you want and get to hear other questions that you did not think about from other seminar attendees. You will save money and time that you would have spent on research.