Washington’s Pot Man Moving On As Thrill Of Making History Fades

By Bob Young, The Seattle Times

Small Town In Washington Expects To Open Its Own Legal Cannabis Store By Month’s End

WASHINGTON: The City of North Bonneville is only weeks away from securing a license to open Washington’s first municipally controlled and operated recreational marijuana store, which local leaders say could serve as a model to be adopted by cities across the state.

The bucolic community of some 1,000 residents is located along the Columbia River amid a host of lakes, streams, hiking trails, panoramic vistas and within an hour’s drive of Mount Hood and year-round skiing. North Bonneville, once fed by a vibrant timber industry now in steep decline, now banks on tourism as a major economic engine, local leaders say. The city also is only some 45 miles northeast of the attractions of a big city — Portland, Oregon, a state that, like Washington, recently legalized the production and sale of recreational marijuana.

But it is not tourism, at least at this point, that is the driving force behind North Bonneville’s decision to get into the legal marijuana business. The primary reason for that choice, according to North Bonneville Mayor Don Stevens, is to assure the city takes control of its own destiny in the inevitable evolution of a legal cannabis market that holds great promise but still remains marked by citizen concerns and pockets of hard-core opposition to the very idea of legal weed.

“I view [North Bonneville’s approach} as the city being welcoming to the whole idea of recreational marijuana legalization and trying to ensure it’s done as cleanly and professionally and with as much of an eye on the public health and welfare as possible,” Stevens said. “The financial aspects of it are certainly part of the equation, but they weren’t the primary factor.”

Washington Medical Marijuana Grower Opens Farm To Tours

WASHINGTON: Tom Lauerman grows vegetables – sugar snap peas, corn, potatoes, salad mix — on his five-acre farm in Brush Prairie, Wash., that supplies a handful of families with fresh produce through the summer and into the fall.

But vegetables don’t pay the bills. So Lauerman, a 54-year-old surfer who’s smoked cannabis since he was 12, decided to turn his small marijuana grow into a commercial one.

As part of that effort, Lauerman, known by friends as Farmer Tom, has gotten savvy about self-promotion, posting pictures of his freshly planted cannabis on Instagram, designing trading cards for some of his strains and uploading videos about his operation to his Facebook page.

Now Lauerman is opening up his medical marijuana farm, which he calls Garden of the Green Sun, to visitors, hoping Washington’s nascent cannabis tourism industry is a boon to growers.

Eastern Washington Gets Down To CannaBiz

By Morgan, MJ Headline News

Over 100 people filled the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane, Washington last night for the first CannaBiz panel discussion.

The host and moderator, Inlander’s Ted McGregor, Jr., posed questions to three experts from Washington and California – Hilary Bricken, Canna Law Group, an attorney known for specializing in the legal issues surrounding marijuana; Matt Cohen, a well-known advocate in the medical marijuana movement who had his farm in California raided by the feds in 2011 and has since consulted with the Washington State Liquor Control Board on I-502 production issues; and Randy Simmons, deputy director of the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB), who has been leading research teams to help the state set up and operate its new legal marijuana market.

The panels answered a wide range of questions regarding banking; the differences in business regulations between Colorado and Washington; profiling by law enforcement officers along the Idaho border; and lingering concerns about the black market. A few audience members posed questions about medical marijuana and the WSLCB’s involvement, as well as concerns regarding THC driving limits for mmj patients, and the viability of home grow limitations.

MJ Headline News was there to capture the highlights:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBkQgRMNPKE&w=560&h=315]