Marijuana: The Path To Legalization In Washington State

Washington became one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2012. But there are a lot of challenges ahead: the state must set up a licensing system for marijuana growers and sellers, the federal government may mount a challenge, the need to set a new limit on amount of marijuana in the bloodstream for safe driving. And medical marijuana is still in the picture.

Over the next several months we will be exploring the issue and tracking the impact of I-502.

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NPR Survey
10:43 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Poll: Yes To Medical Marijuana, Not So Much For Recreational Pot

Total of responses exceeds 100 percent because of rounding.
NPR-Truven Health

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 5:50 am

Minnesota has become the 22nd state to loosen restrictions on use of marijuana, with its legislature approving the sale and use of medical marijuana on May 15. Other states, including Florida, are considering similar measures.

These changes are happening fast, and we were wondering how people feel about this seemingly inexorable push to decriminalize pot, so we asked, in the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll.

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Marijuana
10:21 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Women In Cannabis: Solidarity And High-Potency Sorbet

Katey Cooper, Jessica Jordan and Stesha Ries (left to right) trade ideas at the Women and Cannabis Business luncheon.
Credit Amy Radil

A power luncheon for women in the marijuana business took place Friday in one of Seattle’s highest locations – the top of the Columbia Tower, where dozens of women in the cannabis business gathered to talk shop and exchange recipes.

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Marijuana Business
3:28 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

'It's Really Terrifying:' Marijuana Businessman Steve DeAngelo On Running A Business In Cash

Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director of Harborside Health Services, the world's largest marijuana dispensary.
Credit Harborside Health Services

Ross Reynolds speaks with Steve DeAngelo, executive director of Harborside Health Services, a medical marijuana dispensary in California, about what it's like to run a $30 million business mostly on cash.

Samiches
1:59 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

The Latest Food Truck Theme Is Marijuana For Lunch

The MagicalButter food truck is called The Samich.
Courtesy of MagicalButter

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 9:09 am

Food trucks have been steadily multiplying in cities across the country for a few years now. So their collision with the brave new world of marijuana edibles — from brownies to gummy candy — was probably inevitable, at least in the states where the drug is now legal.

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Marijuana
7:45 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Pot Grower Says Black Market Can Survive Legalization

Scott Johnson poses outside the Bellingham Towers where he used to own a restaurant and where his attorney has an office.

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 8:29 am

Scott Johnson is one of those natural born salesmen. He used to own a restaurant on the 15th floor of the Bellingham Towers -- Bellingham’s tallest building.

“At first it was called ‘Top of the Towers’ and then after about five years I changed it to ‘City View Grill,’” he says.

Now Johnson comes to Bellingham Towers to see his lawyer -- whose office is also here. Johnson has been sentenced to five years behind bars for his role in a long-running marijuana production and distribution ring.

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Marijuana Legalization
2:34 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

In Washington And Colorado, Bankers Are Entering The Marijuana Industry

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Posey Gruener speaks with Russ Rosendal, CEO of Salal Credit Union, about why they decided to offer banking services to licensed marijuana growers in Washington state.

And, Ross Reynolds speaks with AP reporter Kristen Wyatt about Colorado lawmakers' approval of a financial system designed expressly for the Marijuana industry.

Marijuana
12:43 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Inside Seattle's First Legal Pot Farm

Bruce Cummins shows off some of Sea of Green Farm's marijuana plants growing in their greenhouse.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Sea of Green Farms sits south of Ballard, just east of Fisherman’s Terminal.

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Pot Shops
7:17 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Marijuana Banking: Secretive But Poised To Grow

John Davis says his marijuana business is "built like a bank on steroids."
Credit KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Many marijuana business owners say they have bank accounts, but aren’t completely forthright with their bankers about the nature of their businesses. They claim to be in “consulting” or “medical research.”  And they know they could lose those bank accounts suddenly, at any time, since federal law prohibits banks from holding any funds associated with illegal drugs.

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Author Interview
2:07 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Hemp: The Emerging Crop In The Global Economy

Credit Doug Fine's book, "Hemp Bound."

Ross Reynolds speaks with Doug Fine, a self-described comedic investigative journalist, about his new book, "Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution."

Fine spoke with scientists and farmers around the world about how hemp is used. In February, President Obama signed the Farm Bill, which allows industrial research on hemp.

Marijuana Regulation
7:09 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Washington Pot Growers May Not Get Federal Irrigation Water

File photo of a legal marijuana farm and production facility at the University of Mississippi

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 9:05 am

Farmers in Eastern Washington who want to get into the marijuana business may face an immediate hurdle.

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Marijuana License Lottery
7:08 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Even University Mathematicians Have Role In Marijuana Legalization

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:12 pm

The path to marijuana legalization in Washington state is keeping a lot of people busy -- even university math professors.

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News From Canada
10:18 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Temporary Foreign Workers Program, Cannabis Recall, And Trouble For Air Canada

Purple kush.
Credit Flickr Photo/Morgan (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Les Leyne of the Victoria Times Colonist about the latest news from Canada, including McDonalds' decision to suspend its use of the temporary foreign workers program while it awaits and audit.

Also, Canada's health agency issued a voluntary recall for a batch of cannabis sold as "purple kush."

Pot Legalization
8:07 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Youth Access To Marijuana Remains A Concern Under Legalization

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 1:04 pm

As Washington and Colorado go where no state or nation has gone before concerns remain about kids getting their hands on pot.

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'Pottery' Week
2:44 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Marijuana License Lottery Week: How Does It Work?

Credit AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Marcie Sillman talks with Brian Smith, communications director at the Washington State Liquor Control Board, about the process for the state's retail pot license lottery happening this week.

Business
2:26 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

To Keep Business Growing, Vendors Rebrand Pot's Stoner Image

Alison Ledden, marketing director for The Farm, a recreational marijuana store in Boulder, Colo., says some customers come in thinking they're at a specialty grocer, not a marijuana store.
Luke Runyon KUNC

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 4:26 pm

From the outside, Jan Cole's recreational marijuana store in Boulder, Colo., just feels welcoming. Big glass windows let in natural light, and the walls are painted in soothing earth tones. Cole used her background in spa management to build a "warm and inviting" pot shop that puts customers at ease.

In fact, the store's name, The Farm, is so inconspicuous, "we have a lot of people who come in think that we might be an organic food grocer or something," she says.

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