WA Senator Kohl-Welles Aims To Ease Regulation On Cannabis Health And Beauty Aid Products

WASHINGTON:  Cannabis health and beauty aid products would not be subject to the same regulations as marijuana concentrate or marijuana infused products, under Senate Bill 5493,introduced today by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle.

“This bill is about promoting small businesses and allowing entrepreneurs to find new ways to drive our economy, without legal recourse, as we continue to be pioneers in the marijuana legalization process,” said Kohl-Welles. “And topicals can be very soothing on sore muscles.”

Cannabis health and beauty products are not intended to be mood-altering and have no psycho-active effects. Examples of these products, according to Kohl-Welles, are body lotion, soaps, and salves—none of which is ingested. Under Kohl-Welles’ proposal, cannabis health and beauty products would not be able to contain a THC level higher than 0.3 percent, they would not be allowed for human consumption and they would not be able to cross the blood-brain barrier which leads to intoxication.

“This is 20 years in the making,” said Ah Warner, owner and operator of Cannabis Basics, a small business in Magnolia dedicated to creating cannabis health and beauty products since 1995. “My products enhance personal health and wellness by providing the highest quality hemp and cannabis flower topical therapy products. These products are regenerative and can help repair skin, heal wounds and reduce scar tissue.”

Sen. Kohl-Welles Wants to Lift Cap on Pot Stores, Merge Medical Marijuana Into I-502 System

WASHINGTON:  If State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard, Queen Anne) gets her way, Washington pot laws are about to get a little less weird.

Sen. Kohl-Welles says she plans to push legislation during the upcoming session to bring medical marijuana out of its current legal limbo into the existing recreation system—hopefully without forcing pot patients to pay the astronomical prices that state-licensed recreational sellers charge. Her proposal would also allow home growing, simplify pot’s tax structure, and remove the cap on the total number of pot stores, among other tweaks.

“Right now we have a legal system in place for recreational use,” says Kohl-Welles, “but we have really no legal system for medical marijuana growing, processing, and selling. “So we’re left in a bit of a mess.”

Kohl-Welles is still hammering out the details of the complicated legislation (after all, it wouldn’t be a Washington state pot law if you could summarize it in one sentence), but here are the broad strokes:


A Recipe For Mixing Medical And Recreational Marijuana In Washington

WASHINGTON:  Last month I noted that marijuana legalization in Washington state has been hampered by the decision to create a new industry from scratch instead of building on the cannabusinesses that have been serving patients there for years. Last week state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle), a longtime advocate for medical marijuana users, told The Seattle Times she plans to introduce legislation that aims to rectify that error by incorporating unregulated dispensaries into the system recently created for recreational consumers.

Medical dispensaries—which generally operate as “collective gardens,” an arrangement authorized by a 2011 law that Kohl-Welles wrote, although she did not intend that provision to cover commercial suppliers—outnumber and undersell state-licensed marijuana stores. Seattle, for example, has something like 200 medical marijuana suppliers (including delivery services as well as storefronts) but just a handful of recreational outlets. Recreational prices are nearly twice as high as medical prices, partly because of the hefty taxes imposed by the state: 25 percent at each of three levels, on top of standard sales taxes, which in Seattle total 9.5 percent.

Kohl-Welles’ bill would address both of these issues. It would lift the cap on state-licensed stores, currently set at 21 for Seattle and 334 statewide, and allow medical dispensaries to apply for licenses, phasing out collective gardens by August 2016. The bill would also cut marijuana taxes, which would be consolidated into a single levy collected at the retail level. Patients buying medical strains high in cannabidiol and low in THC would get an additional tax break.

Senator: Fight For Homegrown Medical Marijuana Not Over In Washington

WASHINGTON: When three state agencies published a list of recommendations for the Washington Legislature to consider the next time it tackles medical marijuana, alarms went off in the besieged medical cannabis community.

Chief among the concerns was that a system for cannabis grown and used for medical purposes would be limited to the legal recreation market created by I-502, the rules for which have recently become law. [Read more…]