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Why Cannabis Possession And Purchase Limits Are Important

At the end of 2018, Colorado completed a complex investigation involving the Sweet Leaf cannabis retail chain for egregious “looping” violations. Looping is a term for what I described above, buying the legal limit of cannabis, taking it to your car, and returning to the store to buy more. The raid was carried out by state law-enforcement agents and resulted in 13 employee arrests, 10 of which were charged with either misdemeanor or felony distribution of cannabis, The Cannabist reports.  During the investigation, the Denver Police Department conducted stings involving undercover officers posing as “loopers.” During the sting, budtenders, and door people were open about looping policies and gave loopers tips like parking outside of the buildings surveillance system. One undercover officer bought 6.6 ounces of cannabis during the same day and during a stake-out, officers witnessed an out of state customers purchase three-pounds of cannabis. After this customer was arrested, police soon discovered the customer planned to repackage and sell Sweet Leaf’s cannabis in a different state’s black market.

What Are The Limits?

Washington has strict purchase limits just like Colorado. Washington’s recreational cannabis possession limits directly from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis board are as follows:

Adults 21 and over can purchase up to one ounce of usable cannabis flower, 16 ounces of cannabis-infused edibles in solid form, 72 ounces of cannabis drinkables, and 7 grams of cannabis concentrates.

The cannabis possession limits for medical patients are different. They are also allowed to cultivate their own weed or issue other medical patients a caretaker license to grow weed for them.

Three ounces of usable cannabis flower, forty-eight ounces of cannabis-infused edibles in solid form, two hundred sixteen ounces of cannabis drinkables, and twenty-one grams of cannabis concentrates, per the Washington State Department of Health.

Why Washington Needs To Take Cannabis Possession Limits Seriously

These limits may seem arbitrary, but it doesn’t matter. They’re the law and they have to be followed. Budtenders and store owners need to adhere to them for several reasons. Cannabis prohibition is still alive and well in many places in this country. Contributing to that issue with Washington product makes our state look careless for contributing to the violence that is connected to illegal cannabis sales. It’s also extremely unfair to farmers and processors. They expect their products to be consumed in the state, not to be contributing to crime and potential violence is another state.

Ever since the state’s traceability system hasn’t been working properly, cannabis products have become even harder to track. This puts even more emphasis on retail owners and budtenders to sell within the confines of the law. It’s illegal to take Washington cannabis outside of Washington, so if a customer does, it’s on them, there’s nothing you can do about it. But if you sell that customer more than the legal limit, and they get busted out of state, that’s on the budtender that sold the product as well. Oregon and Idaho have reported more cannabis being confiscated during traffic stops involving cars coming from Washington, The News Tribune reports. We want to set a good example for our state representatives who stand up for voters rights and other states looking to follow our lead and legalize cannabis themselves. We have politicians who stand up for cannabis in our state. Jay Inslee and Bob Ferguson have gone out on limbs to defend cannabis rights against the federal government.

These laws keep customers who are uneducated about cannabis laws from getting in trouble. Many customers trust and expect budtenders to know what the law is. If a budtender takes advantage of a customer to make the business more money or hustle a bigger tip, and that customer gets pulled over by the police, they could be in trouble just because they trusted the wrong budtender. This makes it important for business owners to take hiring practices seriously and trust employees before you leave them on the floor unattended.

The obvious reason for everyone to follow cannabis laws to the letter is to keep Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions’ watchful eyes out of our state. If you don’t think he wasn’t paying attention to what happened to Sweet Leaf in Colorado, you’re out of your mind. Justin Costello, hedge fund manager and CEO of Pacific Merchant Processing told me something once that is hyper-relevant here, and it’s if you think your enemies are stupid, you’re stupid. Sweet Leaf seemingly thought the Denver Police department was stupid and it cost them their livelihood. If Washington budtenders and business owners think the WSLCB isn’t paying more attention to the industry’s adherence to state laws after the Sweet Leaf situation, you’re stupid.

Last week, WSLCB agents raided a cannabis farmers market in Tacoma. The Patient Cannabis Exchange (PWE.) Cannabis medical card holders were exchanging cannabis with their caretakers. Caretakers are other medical card holders that are granted permission to grow weed strictly for themselves and other patients. Agents arrested people that had outstanding warrants and confiscated all product and money. The owner of the PWE said there was nothing illegal happening and no cease and desist order was served before the raid occurred. Maybe the PWE was breaking the law, but some believe this was the WSLCB flexing their authority to crack down on untaxed cannabis transactions, Komo News reports.

It’s unfortunate the PWE was raided, but recreational employees should heed this as a warning. If the WSLCB is willing to raid a small medical farmers market that may or may not have been breaking the law, why would they hesitate to raid a recreational dispensary for actually breaking state law?

Cannabis is still a schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance Act and illegal on the federal level. Federal cannabis protections no longer exist since the Cole Memo was rescinded. Federal prosecutors have permission from AG Jeff Session himself to go after state cannabis operations that aren’t in accordance with federal law. Smoking cannabis in our state isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. A privilege that can be seriously tested if Washington’s cannabis industry isn’t careful. I for one don’t want to buy weed at some random guys house anymore, so let’s keep it straight

 GreenRush Cannabis is a WA i502 producer-processor located in the scenic Snohomish Valley. We produce a clean, sophisticated crop that has become a preferred brand for a number of top shops in Washington state known for our consistent terpene flavor, high quality, and deep impact.

Jeff Sessions Calls For Federal Prosecution of Cannabis Activity

Trump’s stance during the 2017 election was to leave the states alone when it came to marijuana prosecution, a decision that held with President Obama and Attorney General Holder-era recommendations.

“I’m a states person, I think it should be up to the states,” Trump said.

Trump has been silent since Sessions rescinded the Cole memo on Jan. 4. Trump hasn’t reigned in Session who’s been attacking cannabis since he took his attorney general position. Trump has not kept to his word on many things since he was elected, and the states cannabis rights is another entry on that ever-growing list of lies.

Sessions is putting the entire legal cannabis industry in jeopardy after certain members of the GOP went after medical marijuana protections last month. Sessions wrote a letter to all state attorney generals stating the Cole Memorandum (Cole memo) is to be rescinded immediately and adherence to the Controlled Substance Act is recommended. This means that Obama-era polices of noninterference pertaining to states marijuana laws are no longer in place.

The Cole memo is the document drafted by former Deputy Attorney General James Cole that was the binding set of regulations states recreational cannabis laws we’re to obey. As long as states were in 100 percent compliance with these laws, federal prosecutors would abstain from inference of cannabis related activities.

States like Colorado have shown how serious they are about following the Cole memo’s rules. Last month the state raided 13 recreational dispensaries for state law violations. Colorado did this on its own accord with no prompting or help from DEA or any other federal agencies.

Sessions didn’t outright tell federal prosecutors to go after cannabis businesses, but he removed the  leashes if any decide to do so themselves. In his letter Sessions mentions the finite resources they’re managing to prosecute marijuana cases, but to uphold federal law which still labels cannabis as a schedule-one drug. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling of Massachusetts said his office would aggressively pursue cannabis related crimes but the states recreational marijuana law isn’t be addressed at this time.

While Lelling seems to be lock-step with Sessions assessment that this is a “return to law,” most-everyone else seems to be unanimously against the move and are standing against Sessions and defending the Cole memo. Washington Governor Jay Inslee suggested the public stand firm and resist while Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said “we’re not messing around” in regards defending the Washington’s cannabis industry.

In Washington consumers have purchased $2.48 billion in cannabis, paid $223 million in sales tax $682 million in marijuana tax. That’s almost a $1 billion budget for Washington to fight Sessions decision. These numbers are as of Oct. 2017, according to 502data.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer of the District of Colorado, Republican Senator Cory Gardner, Lt. Governor of California Gavin Newsome  and the Koch brothers are just some of the law makers and policy influencers that disagree with Sessions attack on the cannabis industry.

It’s well known that the war on drugs perpetuates racial stereotypes dealing with drug use and disproportionately effects black and brown neighborhoods, systematically ruining thousands of peoples lives. For Sessions to restart a drug war that’s wasted billions of tax dollars with no positive impact to show for it; is downright insulting to the critically thinking voters of this country. The majority of whom at minimum support medical cannabis if not complete legalization.

Cannabis needs to be further researched to fully understand its benefits and detriments, but it’s unanimously agreed that it’s safer than opioids, which is plaguing out country. It’s also safer than alcohol and tobacco; both are legal and regulated by the government despite having no medical usage whatsoever.

GreenRush Cannabis is a WA i502 producer-processor located in the scenic Snohomish Valley. We produce a clean, sophisticated crop that has become a preferred brand for a number of top shops in Washington state known for our consistent terpene flavor, high quality, and deep impact.