Washington State Looks To Regulate Medical Marijuana As Legal Recreational System Takes Hold

WASHINGTON:  Dozens of marijuana plants await harvest at a production site for “Loaded Soda,” an Olympia-based business that provides marijuana-infused sodas, vitamin waters and other products to more than 400 medical marijuana collectives throughout the state.

Owner Dave Kois stands in the middle of the three-foot plants, discussing the different strains of marijuana that he’s growing, as well as his thoughts on efforts by the state to regulate the medical market that he currently caters to. Two bills working their way through the Legislature seek to reconcile the medical market with the new recreational market approved by voters in the fall of 2012. [Read more…]

Marijuana Warehouses To Open Across Washington State

WASHINGTON: Once the legal market for recreational marijuana opens in 2014, a firm called Arbormain plans to open warehouses around the state to be used by as many as 24 entrepreneurs for growing, processing and testing a range of marijuana products.

As the Washington State Liquor Control Board prepares to open the market, it’s taking applications from businesses for licenses under Initiative 502 regulations.

Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Seattle-based Privateer Holdings, the parent company, said he has about a dozen clients lined up and believes these Arbormain business hubs will be crucial to creating a thriving legal cannabis industry in Washington.

Kennedy and his business partners, Michael Blue and Christian Groh, launched Privateer Holdings in 2011 as a cannabis industry private-equity firm. Kennedy said the team opened Arbormain, a subsidiary, as a “startup accelerator” to help small marijuana-related businesses grow revenues.

Pot Shots Fired: Recreational Vs. Medicinal In Washington State

WASHINGTON:  As Washington begins to accept applications for the state’s first regulated recreational pot shops, cries of protest about the its plans for medical marijuana are coming from unexpected quarters: the left. A year after voters put their state on track to become one of the only places in the world where marijuana can be legally owned and sold for purely recreational use, the state legislature still has to decide what to do with its rickety, fifteen-year-old medical-marijuana system. With the Department of Justice’s hawkish eyes trained on the state—determined to ensure that the drug, which is still illegal under federal law—remains under strict control, some bureaucrats and lawmakers are afraid that Washington’s unregulated medical-marijuana system could doom the whole experiment.

In October, a working group commissioned by the legislature recommended that lawmakers should fold regulation of medical marijuana into the new recreational system, with a tax break for patients but few other concessions, like a personal growing exception for medical use or separate stores for therapeutic weed. [Read more…]