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Is Cannabis Legal in Washington State?


Washington Cannabis Legality

Do you want to venture into the cannabis industry in the state of Washington? You’ll need to understand the nuances of the state’s cannabis laws and rules so you can operate your business lawfully and successfully. Learn more about where Washington stands on the issue.

The Legal Status of Cannabis in Washington

Washington is one of 19 states that fully legalized cannabis. Any Washington resident 21 or older can buy, possess, and use cannabis. If someone possesses more than the legal limit allowed or uses cannabis in public, they may be subject to certain penalties. Washington also has restrictions regarding sale and distribution, hash, concentrates, and paraphernalia.

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Is Medical Cannabis Legal in Washington?

Yes, medical cannabis has been legal in Washington since the late 1990s. It’s the only state that doesn’t require a patient or provider registry for patients 18 or older. However, minor patients and their providers must register in the Medical Marijuana Authorization Database through a medically-endorsed dispensary.

Is Cannabis Decriminalized in Washington?

As cannabis is fully legal in Washington, it’s decriminalized. The goal of decriminalization is to reduce cannabis-related arrests.

Can You Smoke Cannabis in Public in Washington?

No, you can’t legally use cannabis in public. Additionally, it’s illegal to smoke cannabis in places where it’s illegal to smoke tobacco. The general rule is to only use cannabis on private property — renters should make sure their landlords don’t have any restrictions regarding the use of cannabis on their properties.

Harris Sliwoski Can Help Navigate Cannabis Laws

If you’re interested in getting involved in Washington’s cannabis industry, it’s crucial to fully understand the state’s cannabis legislation. Combing through the laws and processes yourself will leave you with less time to focus on the other areas of your business. Leave it to the experts — Harris Sliwoski has worked with clients in Washington just like you since 2010.

Contact us today to see how we can offer expert legal counsel on the transfer and sale of existing licenses in Washington.

Can You Grow Cannabis in Washington?

While cultivating cannabis is mostly illegal for personal use in Washington, commercial growers can cultivate with the proper licensing.

Personal Cannabis Growth

Only patients with medical cannabis cards are legally allowed to cultivate plants for medical use. These individuals can grow up to four plants on their personal property so long as they’re out of public view.

A qualifying patient registered to the Medical Marijuana Authorization Database and possessing a medical cannabis card can grow six to 15 plants based on their provider’s recommendations.

Commercial Cannabis Growth

As of July 2022, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) isn’t accepting new applications for producer, processor, or retailer licenses. However, individuals can still get into Washington’s cannabis industry by purchasing an existing operation, buying a license, or investing in a cannabis business. It pays to have an experienced legal team like Harris Sliwoski on your side to help you work through the state’s regulations regarding changes of ownership or license transfers.

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Is CBD Oil Legal in Washington?

Yes, cannabidiol (CBD) oil is legal in Washington. Both cannabis- and hemp-derived CBD oil can be present in various products so long as the CBD contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Per the Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines, Washington state doesn’t allow CBD-based food and beverage products.

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