We’ve come a long way…
Not so much.
December 9, 2013. I-502 anniversary celebration under the Space Needle. Not only was there a celebration to celebrate the legalization of marijuana in our state, but there was a special permit handed out to allow adults over the age of 21 to smoke cannabis in a designated area, despite this being an event opened to the public. I’m sure that many people were looking up ‘All you Need to Know About Bongs‘ after this announcement in preparation for the day, so they could join in and celebrate! There are so many ways to use cannabis of course. It’s a trend now, after its heroic purposes used in healthcare, it’s shone a pretty positive light on the substance! But anyway, this is a breakthrough, yes, but it’s just the beginning, right? We live in such a great and progressive state, it’s just a matter of time that Washington allows for marijuana use lounges and bars.
It’s been almost a year and a half since that anniversary celebration and progress has been minimal at best. Sure, Pete Holmes detailed in a memorandum at the beginning of the year that we should have a place for people to consume marijuana publicly or ‘marijuana use lounges.’ Because of the clean air act, customers will only be able to eat edibles or vaporize cannabis.
If you are going to designate a place to consume marijuana, then let the public consume the herb in any way they choose, be that smoking something like this cake crasher strain or taking edibles, vaping etc. The clean air act was created because of tobacco smoke, not marijuana smoke. There is a huge difference.
Also, the majority of customers are not going to care about being in an environment filled with cannabis smoke. Do people go to a hookah lounge and complain about smoke from hookahs. No, they expect it. If people don’t want to be around marijuana smoke, guess what? They don’t have to go to a marijuana use lounge.
It’s been almost a year and a half since that anniversary celebration and one of the biggest names in marijuana, and its’ annual Cannabis Cup, is moving out of our state because they can’t get a special permit for anything – not even a liquor license.
You would think the state would allow for at least a liquor license, a special permit to smoke cannabis, or just turn a blind eye. After all, they continue to turn a blind eye to the marijuana delivery services who are still operating and advertising freely, without licenses or jurisdiction. So, why not turn a blind eye and allow High Times to conduct their annual event?
In some ways, legalization has made us soft. We made a huge statement in 2012 when we became the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana. We were a pioneer in every essence of the word.
Now, years later, we have the newly legalized state of Oregon watching our every move and mistakes, and doing things differently and how they should be. For example, allowing residents to grow their own recreational marijuana.
There are two things that need to happen by years end:
One, we need to get the recreational marijuana retail tax issue sorted out so the retail marijuana stores can survive and thrive. This is issue number one. Quit gouging the lifeblood of our industry. In fact, why not an emergency session to get this fixed?
James Lathrop, owner of Cannabis City, has been very vocal about this. Let’s follow his lead and get this sorted out.
Secondly, allow for marijuana use lounges. Real marijuana use lounges where we can light up a joint if we choose. The clean air act was created for tobacco. If it was created for any type of pollutant, then you got a problem. Try walking along along the road on Capitol Hill and get a good whiff of a city bus as it passes by. This violates everything about clean air.
Also, if legislation passes a better recreational marijuana retail tax and marijuana use lounges, have a plan to implement these things right away. We have already waited two and a half years since we became the first state to legalize marijuana and we still are trying to get our industry up and running. Don’t make us wait any longer.