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Legalization of Marijuana in Washington State Part II: Retail and Possession

Updated on November 10, 2012

Part II

On November 6, 2012, marijuana was legalized in Washington State and Colorado. It was the passing of initiative 502. Part One of this series was about what it meant to be licensed and what the Liquor Control Board would be in charge of figuring out by December 1, 2013 to be put into play by December 6, 2013. This is found within the first 22 pages of the 65-page document which explains the initiative.


As mentioned before in the previous article, retailers which supply marijuana, marijuana infused products or products which relate directly to the use of marijuana, must be no closer than 1,000 feet from any elementary school or secondary school perimeter, playground, recreation center or facility, childcare center, public park, public transit center, library or game arcade where there has not been an age restriction set for individuals that are 21 or over. Retailers of this sort must also have a license, which costs $250, though comes with an annual fee of $1,000.

Shops which supply marijuana may only supply marijuana and marijuana infused products as well as products intended to use marijuana with, but cannot provide any other service. In this respect, we will not be like Amsterdam. They have coffee shops which serve nice warm beverages and general things a coffee shop would supply, and require for one to purchase a beverage in order to stay there. They also sell marijuana and hash. It's not required that you buy your marijuana there, but you can smoke there. However, you need to to buy something from the shop to indulge in this privilege. Once again, that is in Amsterdam. In Washington and Colorado, the initiative states that retail outlets cannot provide services unrelated to marijuana and its paraphernalia.

Like a bar, marijuana cannot employ staff that are under the age of 21, and that have not been a resident of the state for less than three months. No one under the age of 21 may enter a retail outlet which supplies marijuana or marijuana infused products.

Shops cannot display a sign which the general passing public can see other than a basic sign which says the licensee's trade or business name. In other words, there can't be a sign which reads "Get your pot here!! Marijuana sold here!!!"

Products may not be displayed in the window, either. And no product can be used or opened on the premises of business by any one - customer, employee, nor business owner. A violation of any of this will result in a $1,000 fine.


Advertising cannot be in the public eye, essentially. It cannot be within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a playground, any child care facility, a public transit center, library or public arcade. Advertisements may not be on or in public transit vehicles or transit shelters, nor can it be in publicly owned or operated property.

Failure to ensure these requirements are met will mean a fine of $1,000 for each violation.


If marijuana is obtained from a licensed location, it is legal to have in Washington State, with receipt. The product purchased must be packed in accordance of the decided regulation of the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

One is allowed to possess or be sold at one time no more than:

  • One Ounce of marijuana (28.6 grams)
  • 16 ounces of marijuana infused product in solid form (one pound)
  • 72 ounces of marijuana infused product in liquid form (9 cups or 4.5 pints)

One may not open, consume or put to use marijuana or any marijuana infused product in public. Violation of this will result in a class 3 civil infraction which is under chapter 7.80 RCW (which means a minor offense, the rest of the RCW lists the process of what one goes through).

One may introduce marijuana into the body legally by use of bong, chillum or joint. However, any form of pipe, bowl, or "water pipe" are illegal.

If any other tool is found to be used, the excuse of "it's not mine" will not hold up.

Continue on to read Part III: Legalization of Marijuana Part III: Dedicated Marijuana Fund


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    • ThompsonPen profile image

      Nicola Thompson 5 years ago from Bellingham, WA

      The taxes are a good thing. This will generate a lot of revenue for the state and help get us out of debt.I don't know if you had a chance to read the next Hub which explains where the money will be distributed, but it is going toward preventing substance abuse, universities so they can do research on the effects of marijuana, and to youth programs and data collecting.

      Marijuana is just a plant. That's all. For less harmful than coffee, microwaves, alcohol, cigarettes, processed foods, genetically modified foods, cough syrup or huffing glue, all of which are legal (well, huffing glue isn't legal, but glue itself is, and readily supplied in elementary schools.)

      It will get taxed 25% on each level of production - the grower gets taxed 25%, the producer of marijuana infused goods will get taxed 25%, the retailer will get taxed 25% and the customer will get taxed 25%. That's a lot of tax, and a lot of money toward the state. An argument is that people will just continue to use the black market, but one thing that the initiative says is that the prices set by the Liquor Control Board have to undercut those prices on the black market.

      If the state is regulating marijuana as well, it will be regulating the potency. I always hear wiser more worn generations say that marijuana isn't what it used to be, it's too strong and powerful. This may not be the case any more. It may return to what it was in the 60s, and thus less intoxicating.

      It will be a good thing. Something to adjust to in the mean time, but marijuana isn't evil. It's just a weed.

    • Conservative Lady profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Just another way for Washington state government to take more taxpayer money while abetting the demoralization of society at the same time.....

    • rBok6 profile image

      Mayckoll De Abreu 5 years ago from Valencia, Venezuela

      This is unbelievable, the people who are supposed to be making regulations to maintain order in societies are doing the contrary thing. The world upside down. God save us all. One day They'll legalize murdering.