Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles Leaving State House Aims For King County Council

WASHINGTON: Washington State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a long-time backer of marijuana legal reform, will not seek re-election as a democratic State Senator in the next election, choosing instead to set her sites on a District 4 Seat on the King County Council.

Cannabis Basics' CEO Ah Warner hosted a fundraiser for Democratic Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a long-time marijuana reform advocate

Cannabis Basics’ CEO Ah Warner hosted a fundraiser for Democratic Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a long-time marijuana reform advocate

The veteran politician, named “Advocate of the Year” at this year’s Hempfest, is busy raising money for her campaign, appearing at fundraisers this month hosted by prominent cannabis industry leaders, including travel journalist and national NORML Board member Rick Steves and Ah Warner, CEO of Cannabis Basics.

Thurs. Sept 24 6-9PM, Sorrento Hotel

Thurs. Sept 24 6-9PM, Sorrento Hotel

She will also be appearing with 4 other prominent Washington women politicians — Kent City’s Gwen Allen-Carston; Spokane’s Karen Stratton; Cat Jeter Pierce County;and Heather Holderich, Firecrest City — at the “Power to Influence,” a women-only cannabis industry event presented by the Marijuana Business Association’s Women’s Alliance, and sponsored by a power trio of leading women-run cannabis brands: Washington Bud Company, Eden Labs, and NWMJLaw.

Jeanne Kohl-Welles is running for King County Council

Jeanne Kohl-Welles is running for King County Council

MJNewsNetwork’s TwiceBakedinWA attended Ah Warner’s industry reception on Tuesday, September 22nd, and had a chance to ask Ms. Kohl-Welles about the future of legal cannabis legislation, how Washington’s new marijuana laws turn underage pot smokers into felons, and why the Democrat was running for King County Council.




Snohomish County Council Says NOPE to R5 Zone Pot Farms

By Shawn DeNae

WASHINGTON: I am so disgusted, I could spit!  Snohomish County Council has voted to implement a permanent ban on legal cannabis operations on a majority of the previously available farm land in the county, the R5 Zone.

The members of the R5 Cooperative were blind-sided by the reversal from Chair Dave Somers who has feigned support of establishing standards to allow the use on some R5 properties.  Somers supposedly justifies his actions as helpful toward his bid for County Executive; apparently the NIMBY group has promised voter support.  Nice sell out, Mr. Somers.

The vocal minority represented by righteous members of No Operational Pot Enterprises has won the 7 month battle and vow to continue their war against legal weed by picketing licensed operators already established within R5.  They do not seem concerned about the 2000 or so unregulated ‘black market’ growers the County Sheriff, Pat Slack, estimates are in the same areas.

What is so frustratingly ironic, is that by squashing the opportunity for unregulated grows to move into a regulated and taxed system, the NOPE efforts are only fostering continuation of the black market!  It’s a classic case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

One major justification their leader, Dean Kepler, stated to King 5 is an overwhelming fear of loss in property values.  This has no basis and is in fact disputed with fact.  A search of zip codes heavy with R5 properties reveals that since the opening of R5 for legal grows until the temporary ban (Nov 2013 – Oct. 2014),  values have risen an average of 14.73%.  Compare this to highly desirable property in N. Seattle at 3% over the same time period and it appears the industry has helped to raise property values in these typically slow growth areas.

Zip Code / Area

Oct. ’13 – ’14
Median Sales Price
Year over Year
98223 / Arlington +5.9%
98252 / Granite Falls +32.5%
98290 / Snohomish +5.5%
98294 / Sultan +2.7%
98251 / Gold Bar +23.3%
98272 / Monroe +18.5%
6 Area Average +14.73%


The council did clarify that AG-10 land and Rural Industrial (RI) will remain open for producer/processors. This sounds good!  However, there is a pittance of RI zoned land and the vast majority of AG-10 zoned land is in flood plain which brings in a whole new set of road blocks; the main one that no commercial buildings can be built on flood plain land and the planning department code requires that processing buildings or indoor grows must meet IBC codes for commercial factory standards (F1 occupancy).  What this decision does for Snohomish County is set them up for a piece of the sin tax pie.  This ban on R5, while keeping open AG-10 and Rural Industrial, is a full ban in sheep’s clothing to hood wink the State into giving the County a slice while not allowing the industry to set up shop in any meaningful way.

The R5 Cooperative worked really hard to educate the Council with facts in the hopes to counter balance the fear based rhetoric.  We believed that communication vs litigation was the best path.  Now we see that the future personal political gain of Mr. Somers has taken president over the 100’s of hours that were invested to prevent this outcome.  I hope the county has deep pockets to fight all the lawsuits that are now sure to come.

For background on this story see previous article at Marijuana Venture Magazine. 

Read the Everett Herald article on the decision here:


Cannabis Freedom March In Seattle Is Saturday May 9th

WASHINGTON: Medical marijuana is undergoing a sea change in Washington State after Governor Inslee signed SB 5052 into law, officially putting the state’s unregulated mmj dispensary system under the oversight of the LCB (Liquor and Cannabis Board) and integrating it into the I-502 recreational marijuana regulatory scheme.

Hundreds of cannabis activists and community supporters are expected to gather in Seattle this Saturday for the Cannabis Freedom March to raise awareness for Patient Rights and to demand Global Legalization of Cannabis. The March will begin on Saturday, May 9th at 11 AM at Volunteer Park and wind up at Westlake at 7PM.  A bevy of local activists and cannabis industry leaders are scheduled to speak including Solstice’s Alex Cooley, Washington Bud Company’s Shawn DeNae, MJBA Women’s Alliance’s Morgan, CCSE’s John Davis, Hempfest’s Vivian McPeak, Tim Pate, Delta 9’s Stephanie Heart, and HIA’s Joy Beckerman.


The Social And Political Responsibility Of The Legal Cannabis Industry

By David Rheins

This week nearly 100 women gathered at a restaurant in downtown Seattle to listen to local politicians and activists discuss their role in shaping Washington’s emerging legal marijuana industry.  The “Power of Politics” was organized by the Marijuana Business Association’s Women’s Alliance for its many women-run cannabis businesses, including sponsors Eden Labs, Washington Bud Company and Cannabis Basics.

Laughter, tears, passion, and personal herstories – there is something undeniably powerful about a gathering of women who turn out to talk about politics. The energy and determined strength that emerges when the community focuses on an issue of concern is palpable, and when those 100 women represent nearly as many legal cannabis businesses – the energy they create can transform the political and cultural landscape.

For while ostensibly the vote and the voice of every woman – and every man – are equal in importance to our representatives in government, those in the know will attest that the opinions of business owners speak loudest of all to politicians. For small and entrepreneurial businesses represent jobs, and jobs represent votes and tax revenues, and those are the things that elect and re-elect politicians.

The Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) believes that as the first generation of cannabis business owners and operators we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to positively shape the emerging marketplace and our local communities.  The new industry that we are building already represents millions of dollars of tax revenues and thousands of jobs and will only get bigger. As the first crop of business operators in the country’s fastest growing industry, we speak with loud voices.

After 75 years of prohibition and propaganda have demonized cannabis and its consumers, industry participants must be involved in the political process – as individuals through our political donations, votes and vocalizations, and as business leaders in the manner in which we conduct our trade.

The MJBA does not endorse any individual political party or politician, we see it our role to host the forums for cannabis businesses to gather, parse, discuss, distill and build consensus around relevant policy issues.  We facilitate discussion and of dissemination of relevant business intelligence and market data through our media properties like MJNewsNetwork and Marijuana Channel One, and professional education events like the MJBA Women’s Alliance “Power of Politics.”

The first legal cannabis businesses and the people who operate them are inherently political.  Each day we open our doors for business – planting, processing and selling the plant, or otherwise supporting the cannabis economy – we effect social change.  Every participant in the new legal cannabis economy is a revolutionary, changing public perceptions at every consumer touchpoint.  Each new brand identity that we create makes a political and cultural statement.

Post-prohibition culture is beginning to emerge one legal state at a time. The tone and ethos of that culture is being set by the first crop of legal cannabis brands. It is being shaped by the company cultures that we create, and in how we compensate and treat our employees. We are establishing our social values in the quality and purity of the products that we build and market, and in the manner in which we treat our customers.  Our success and sustainability as an industry will be dependent upon how we conduct ourselves as ethical businesses respectfully serving the needs of our local communities.

Meet The Women Behind “The Power of Politics”

WASHINGTON: In preparation for tomorrow evening’s historic gathering, MJNewsNetwork sat down with the Washington power women behind the “Power of Politics” – ladies from both sides of the political aisle, representing recreational and medical marijuana business owners – to ask them about tomorrow’s historic event.  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.

Since Colorado and Washington first voted to legalize recreational marijuana use in late 2012, the legal cannabis market has grown from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion last year, according to industry estimates. That kind of velocity gets the attention of investors, many of whom focus on tech.

AC Braddock, CEO of Eden Labs


AC Braddock, CEO of Eden Labs, Presenting Sponsor of “Power of Politics” and National Sponsor of MJBA:

We have an opportunity as a state to create two separate and hugely successful industries: Adult Use (Recreational) and Medical Treatment.   Currently Medical is in a legal grey area which does no one any good.  This needs to be changed immediately and legislated in such a way as to compliment and support both industries.  Washington has a long history of Best Practices and some of the most successful companies on the planet.    We can lead the nation in research, consumer protection, sustainability, social responsibility while supporting our historic micro business culture and big industry.  We are a state of innovators and activists…a powerful combination when we work together for change.

Why should women in the cannabis industry become politically engaged? 

Legislators are very busy people who are multi tasking as best they can to represent your voice.  They need factual information, real-life perspectives, problem solving suggestions and a personal connection to effectively legislate on your behalf. No one wants to make a bad decision, making them entirely open to advisement and suggestion. It is profoundly important to listen to their perspective and questions and then offer your assistance.  Your voice is truly the future of the industry.

And lastly, who should come to this event and why?

Women are the largest growing sector in the Cannabis industry not only as a market, but also as business entrepreneurs and medical practitioners who bring a set of sensibilities that are ESSENTIAL for the paradigm shifts happening in the business world.  There is nothing to hold you back and we are here to support and promote you.  Be the very best and most powerful you can be…we are.


 we are allowed to attend, but NOT allowed to testify. However, we can send written comments that will be delivered to the Planning Commission via

Shawn DeNae, President of Washington Bud Company


Shawn DeNae, President of Washington Bud Company, Mistress of Ceremonies and MJBA National Sponsor

This is the first time in the history of mankind that women are poised to lead an industry and this ancient yet infant industry is it! The atmosphere is not only favorable but supportive; blame it on the Age of Aquarius, [Facebook COO] Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In or the female nature of the plant we love.

Why should women in the cannabis industry become politically engaged? 

Now is the time the important foundation of legal cannabis is being planned and women are helping guide that conversation.   Direct communication with our lawmakers is vital and that is why the MJBA Women’s Alliance chose to have this event now.  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.

Who should come to this event and why?

Join us in the relaxed atmosphere of the lovely Palace Ballroom while we get a glimpse into what inspired these politically placed women to step up and take charge.  They can be our mentors to being more effective at creating change toward a future we are proud to pass along.

I’m excited to be Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening and have some really juicy questions lined up! You’ll want to be there; bring your story and come make “herstory” with us!

Expected speakers will include Republican Senator Ann Rivers, author of the market consolidating SB 5052; Democratic Senator Jeanne-Kohl-Welles, author of SB 6083 calling for home grow for all adults 21+; Bellingham City Councilwoman Pinky Vargas, Mayor of Sultan Carolyn Eslick; 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.will explore how Washington’s medical and recreational laws are changing, and how those changes will impact operators of the state’s cannabis businesses.




Snohomish WA Pot Farms ‘Complete Shock’ to Neighbors

WASHINGTON: The Wagner Lake community just outside of Monroe in Snohomish County offers a tranquil lifestyle featuring mountain views, a lake for swimming, and now…..a pot farm.

Many neighbors had no idea about the new operation until bulldozers and greenhouses started showing up on a ten-acre parcel near them this summer.

“It was a complete shock! We had no idea, no idea,” said Dean Keppler whose family has lived in the area for nearly 40 years. “There were no public notice signs, there were no land action warnings.”

None of the neighbors had heard about public hearings leading up to the Snohomish County Council’s decision on November 13, 2013, to allow marijuana growing and processing operations in what is referred to as R-5 zoning. R-5 zones are rural areas with a minimum of five acre plots, but over the years some plots have been subdivided. That’s allowed for neighborhoods to emerge. Other R-5 zones feature remote, large lots where few people live.

Snohomish County was one of the first to allow growing and processing operations in R-5 zones.

Snohomish County Planning Commission Hearing Set For Nov 18th

Jamie Curtismith                           Shawn DeNae   

This is a reminder that the Snohomish County Planning Commission will be given a marijuana briefing on November 18, 2014 (5:30pm-2nd floor of 3000 Rockefeller Ave in Everett). They will discuss council’s draft proposal, Motion No. 14-318 and directing PDS to revise the permanent regulations for marijuana-related facilities. From my understanding, we are allowed to attend, but NOT allowed to testify. However, we can send written comments that will be delivered to the Planning Commission via

Here is a recap of motion 14-318:

Marijuana processing and marijuana production would change from permitted to conditional uses in the R-5 zone. No specific standards are included in the draft.

  1. A new code section would restrict medical marijuana businesses from locating near schools, public parks, and the other sensitive uses where state law restricts licensing of I-502 marijuana businesses.
  2. All marijuana businesses would also be restricted within 1,000 feet of airports and airparks.
  3. New marijuana collective gardens, dispensaries, and access points would be restricted from locating within one mile of existing marijuana collective gardens, dispensaries, and access points, and a maximum of one collective garden would be allowed per parcel.

All the relevant documents and meeting information can be found on the new Snohomish County Marijuana Website:

Just to clarify, the two emergency ordinances upheld at Wednesday’s Public Hearing have already been implemented. Both rulings halted the application process for County permits in the R5 and CRC. 14-086 related to 502 businesses and 14-087 related to MMJ establishments. If you missed the meeting, the three+ hours of public testimony can be reviewed here:

Thank you to everyone who gave compelling testimony and/or physically supported the cause by wearing green. Shawn Denae sent a fantastic overview and ‘next steps’ e-mail a few days ago, so I won’t repeat that here. If you did not receive that information, then let either of us know and we will forward you the suggestions (our contact information is below).

I am working on setting up a meeting between marijuana business owners and John Lovick, the current Snohomish County Executive. He has veto authority, so if we can educate him on the reality of the industry, we may have more leverage on influencing the planning department to make ‘appropriate’ recommendations, but we need to start compiling those suggestions. I will follow-up with e-mails as ideas begin to flow.

Washington Cannabis Industry Convenes This Weekend For MJBA Vendor Fair Seattle

WASHINGTON: Washington State’s legal marijuana business community will convene this weekend in Seattle for a two-day trade show featuring more than 30 of the state’s top cannabis brands.

MJBA Vendor Fair Seattle, is being produced by the Marijuana Business Association, a national industry trade group based in Seattle, whose mission is the creation of a legitimate, sustainable and profitable legal marijuana industry, and sponsored by Evergreen Herbal, a popular maker of cannabis-infused edibles and beverages.

“This weekend we will mark the historic launch of the legal marijuana market in Washington,” said MJBA CEO David Rheins. [Read more…]