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Can You Get a Cannabis Business License if You’re a Convicted Felon?

Aaron Pelley in Leafly

July 28th, 2020

Leafly reached out to Seattle cannabis attorney Aaron Pelley to get a legal perspective on the question.

“To be quite honest,” Pelley responded, “I’m confused as to why they’re separating because it’s been longer than 10 years since her conviction.”

Pelley further explained, “The rule is 10 years. When you’re applying [to enter the cannabis industry], you have to report any past convictions. A felony conviction is worth 12 points, a misdemeanor is worth three points, and anything over eight points gets you automatically disqualified.”

A conviction, felony or misdemeanor, is not necessarily an automatic disqualification. “I have clients with multiple felonies and misdemeanors who have licenses, but [their crimes] happened in the 70s and 80s,” Pelley said.

Pelley informed Leafly that while past drug offenses may be vacated under certain circumstances, a sexual offense is a different story. “For someone who committed a sexual offense, it’s more difficult–actually, in Washington state, it’s impossible to vacate the conviction.”