Pot Lounges Among Marijuana Issues Lawmakers Asked To Consider

WASHINGTON:  As legislators worked this week to blend the state’s recreational and medical marijuana laws, Spokane Valley officials asked them to consider one more wrinkle in the rapidly changing marketplace: pot lounges.

The Members Lounge, which is connected to a medical marijuana dispensary and allows consumption of some vapor and edible marijuana products on its premises, is an example of where the state’s two very different systems don’t mesh well. Using recreational marijuana in public is not legal, but the law is silent on public consumption of medical marijuana, and the lounge contends its patrons aren’t in public but become members of a private club by paying a fee.

“I don’t want to insinuate they are doing anything illegal,” Spokane Valley City Attorney Eric Lamb said Thursday. “But bars have to get liquor licenses, why not marijuana lounges?

Wednesday evening, a lobbyist for Spokane Valley asked the House Finance Committee to add restrictions on marijuana lounges to the wide array of changes it is considering for medical and recreational pot. There’s nothing in the current proposals to address them, and there should be, Brianna Taylor said.

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