The Washington State House approved a sweeping revamp of the recreational marijuana market Friday in Olympia. Dan Frizzell reports the new rules, and there are several, are aimed at, in the words of state Representative Christopher Hurst, “helping to fulfill the voters’ wishes to have a safe, regulated system that reduces crime and keeps marijuana away from children.” Friday’s bill simplifies and reduces taxation on recreational pot, outlaws marijuana vending machines, clubs and drive-through sales, modifies the buffer zone established by initiative 502, and facilitates transport of marijuana and cannabis products between licensed growers, distributors and retailers.
Hurst, a Democrat from Enumclaw and a retired police detective, spoke in favor of the bill, which was OK’d by a bipartisan majority. “Fundamentally, this gets us closer to a well-regulated market and away from the black market. So this isn’t about expanding marijuana use, this is about regulating marijuana use and getting away from robberies and murders and having the criminal element run this business.”
Frizell said the Senate could vote on the bill as early as Saturday.