Washington’s Legislature is Close to Passing Reform to Curb the LCB’s Harsh Enforcement Techniques

Lawmakers in Olympia may soon force the state’s weed regulator to loosen penalties on pot farmers and retailers, metaphorically forcing the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to take a huge bong hit and chill out. After years of Washington’s weed industry complaining that they face a punitive enforcement climate, the state Legislature is now close to passing a proposed law that would dramatically reform the state’s pot regulatory enforcement rules. Full Story

Banks urge Congress to fully Open the Marijuana Market to Banking

Bank officials and others urged Congress on Wednesday to fully open the doors of the U.S. banking system to the legal marijuana industry, a change that supporters say would reduce crime risks and resolve a litany of challenges for cannabis companies, from paying taxes to getting a loan. Full Story

Washington Attorney General and Governor push back against US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ comments on Washington’s regulated marijuana industry

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he’s disappointed with a letter from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the state’s efforts to regulate marijuana.

In a letter dated July 24, Sessions pointed out to Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee that a 2013 Justice Department memo interpreted as clearing the way for states to regulate marijuana did not preclude federal prosecution. Sessions also highlighted a 2016 report from a federally-funded drug-enforcement organization that raised questions about how effectively the state is controlling the industry.

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DEA Will Continue to Classify Marijuana as a Schedule 1 Substance

Marijuana will remain on the government’s list of most highly regulated and dangerous drugs, the Obama administration says, despite growing popular support for the widespread legalization of pot.

The decision means that pot remains on a list of drugs that have no medical purpose. But the Drug Enforcement Administration did open the door to more research on the drug and its possible medical uses.

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Without notice, the King County Council imposed an emergency four-month moratorium on I-502 marijuana businesses in unincorporated King County areas

The Metropolitan King County Council imposed an emergency, four-month moratorium on legal marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas. It gave no public notice in advance of the action but must hold a hearing within 60 days.

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The first government entity in Washington to own a retail marijuana store

Of all the steps taken since Washington legalized marijuana, North Bonneville’s might be boldest.

The town of about 1,000 in Skamania County, which sits on the Columbia River about 40 miles northeast of Portland, is becoming the first government in the nation, and perhaps the world, to own a recreational marijuana store.

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The House just voted to protect banks that work with marijuana businesses

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday, July 16, voted to allow banks to work with marijuana businesses without fear of federal prosecution.

The budget amendment, which passed with a 231-192 bipartisan vote, would prohibit the US Department of Treasury from using any federal funds to penalize financial institutions that serve marijuana businesses operating legally under state law.

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