Why Washington Is Taking So Long To Get Recreational Pot In Stores

WASHINGTON:  Like Colorado, Washington voted to legalize marijuana in November 2012. But 18 months later, not a single ounce of legal recreational pot has been sold in the state.

Washington has repeatedly delayed implementation of its new law. The state has, for example, delayed issuing licenses for marijuana growers and processors twice — and punted  the launch of retail businesses from this spring to July at the earliest.

Washington shows just how difficult it is to establish a legal marijuana industry. Legalization is not a matter of just turning the switch; it instead involves a long, complicated process of balancing concerns about the drawbacks of marijuana and the public’s willingness to allow the drug for recreational use. For Washington, how to achieve that balance is a work in progress.

“You have to understand that, other than Colorado, no one has done this in the world,” says Brian Smith of the Washington State Liquor Board, which is overseeing the state’s marijuana businesses. “There’s no blueprint, and every step of the way of the way as you go forward there are challenges.”

​How Colorado Has Gone To Pot

COLORADO:  Here’s a scene you don’t see very often: a fundraiser for a symphony that’s a “BYOP” evening . . . as in, bring your own pot.

And how about this: friends getting together after work not just for drinks, but for pot and munchies.

In most places in the U.S., parties like these would be illegal. But we’re in Colorado, the first state in the nation to legalize sales of marijuana for recreational use.

There were parties all over Denver when the law allowing recreational pot passed in 2012, and lines stretched around the block on January 1, the first day of sales. Business has been booming ever since.

Tourists have been flocking to the state — an estimated 80,000 people were at a massive marijuana celebration in April. And believe it or not, there are now more pot shops in Denver than there are Starbucks.

But not everyone was eager to jump on the marijuana bandwagon, including the state’s Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper.

New Poll Finds Strong Backing To Legalize, Tax Marijuana In Texas

TEXAS: The pendulum has really swung out there in Texas on the questions of medical marijuana and treating possession of the weed as a fine-only, civil offense. A new poll released today by the advocacy group Marijuana Policy Project found comfortable majority support and nearly a nearly 2-1 margin on both questions. [Read more…]

New Poll Finds Strong Backing To Legalize, Tax Marijuana In Texas

TEXAS: The pendulum has really swung out there in Texas on the questions of medical marijuana and treating possession of the weed as a fine-only, civil offense. A new poll released today by the advocacy group Marijuana Policy Project found comfortable majority support and nearly a nearly 2-1 margin on both questions. [Read more…]