WA Senator Rivers Applauds Common-Sense Application Of New Marijuana Law

WASHINGTON: Sen. Ann Rivers is praising a prosecutor’s decision to reduce charges in a marijuana-possession case against three Washington teens, saying it’s an example of how the criminal-justice system is still getting acquainted with marijuana-law changes that emerged from this year’s legislative session.

Rivers authored the law aimed at ending conflicts and closing loopholes in the state’s marijuana statutes. She has been following the case, which involved a small amount of marijuana, since felony charges were filed last week. Between a second look at the law and advice from the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the local prosecutor reduced the charges to misdemeanors.

“I applaud the prosecutor for his wisdom and willingness to apply good sense in this case. This was a good test of the new law, and the outcome is in line with what I was trying to accomplish. No one is looking to destroy kids’ lives for making a mistake. As I’ve said many times, this law is about ensuring that we have a tightly regulated marijuana industry that keeps pot out of the hands of our children. That is what voters wanted when they approved Initiative 502,” said Rivers, R-La Center.


Washington Medical Marijuana Clinics Spooked Over New Reporting Requirement

WASHINGTON: Washington state regulators are tightening their grip on medical marijuana this week by targeting dubious patient authorizations. But some clinics say the changes, which begin Friday, will put them out of business.

The new Cannabis Patient Protection Act requires any health care provider who authorizes more than 30 medical cannabis patients in a month to report to the Department of Health.

Amber Berman-Ortiz, co-owner of the Verde Medical Clinic in Seattle’s U-district, says authorizers don’t know what exactly the state plans to do with that information. She says her staff is spooked.

Washington’s Law Ending ‘Wild West’ Of Medical Marijuana May Boost Black Market

WASHINGTON:  For at least three generations of Americans, eradication of marijuana has been among the top law enforcement priorities across the land at every level, and yet here we are: Legal weed in four states, medical in dozens more and a robust black market making pot available in every corner of every state for any purpose.

So, how will Washington’s latest legislative effort to control part of that social and economic reality — the much-maligned “gray market” of medical marijuana — succeed? Won’t most of the hundreds of collective storefronts, more than 300 in Seattle alone, simply slip into the black market?

While the new law, S.B. 5052, directs the state to expand the number of licensed growers and retailers and gives those “good actors” in the medical market priority for those licenses … the number making it through to legitimacy will still be a fraction of those already doing business.

Once those players leave the gray market and disappear into the black market, how will cities, counties and the state fight them? That seems to be the big question now that the legislature has ended medical marijuana as we know it.

Senators Ann Rivers, Jeanne-Kohl Wells Keynote “The Power of Politics” on Wednesday, March 25th in Seattle

WASHINGTON: The legal landscape for marijuana businesses in Washington is about to change radically as a result of new legislation under consideration in Olympia designed to bring the state’s unregulated MMJ system together with its nascent I-502 recreational pot industry. The authors of two leading marijuana bills are veteran women lawmakers – and to sell these changes through to the cannabusiness community – both will be featured speakers at “The Power of Politics,” a gathering of the important female cannabis executives. Organized by the MJBA Women’s Alliance, and sponsored by Eden Labs, Washington Bud Company and Cannabis Basics, the exclusive evening of information, inspiration and activation takes place on Wednesday, March 25th, 6PM at the Palace Ballroom in Seattle.

Republican Senator Ann Rivers, author of the market consolidating SB 5052, and Democratic Senator Jeanne-Kohl-Welles, author of SB 6083 calling for home grow for all adults 21+, will explore how Washington’s medical and recreational laws are changing, and how those changes will impact operators of the state’s cannabis businesses.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that women are poised to lead an industry,” mistress of ceremonies and Washington Bud Company founder Shawn DeNae told MJNN in an exclusive conversation.  “Blame it on the Age of Aquarius, on [Facebook COO]  Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In’ or the female nature of the plant we love! Now is the time the important foundation of legal cannabis is being planned and women are helping guide that conversation.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=210Y9i4uEWc&w=560&h=315]

Joining Senators Kohl-Welles and Rivers, will be Bellingham City Councilwoman Pinky Vargas, Mayor of Sultan Carolyn Eslick and Seattle City Councilwoman Jean Godden, along with the MJBA Women’s Alliance’s cadre of  business leaders, including Cannabis Basic’s founder Ah Warner – who helped to write the HABA bill, which would allow for the legal sale of  “topicals” — salves and lotions made with low-levels of THC, and Joy Beckerman, President at WA State Chapter of the Hemp Industries Association, a leading activist helping to legalize industrial hemp in the state.

“Direct communication with our lawmakers is vital and that is why the MJBA Women’s Alliance chose to have this event now,” DeNae explained. “ We do not have the luxury of decades to become part of each other’s circles of influence.  We need to know our lawmakers and they need to know the pioneering women, the entrepreneurial women and the legacy women of cannabis.  We must build trust so we can cross the bridge to legitimacy in every corner of politics beginning at the local level.”

MJBA Women’s Alliance’s “The Power of Politics” takes place on Wednesday, March 25th at 6PM at the Palace Ballroom in downtown Seattle. Tix are available online via EventBrite: