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Washington Marijuana Law (I-502) blog series

Marijuana will undoubtedly become a great new frontier for entrepreneurs if it continues to trend toward legalization in the United States. In Colorado, marijuana sales topped $5 Million in the first week sales became legal. 

Over the next few weeks we'll be rolling out a series of blog posts discussing Washington's I-502 marijuana law. This new law operates to regulate the legal production, distribution and possession of marijuana in Washington. Like Colorado's marijuana law, I-502 has the potential to create a great deal of business opportunities for entrepreneurs in Washington.

With any new market, however, comes new and unknown risk. You should consult a marijuana law attorney if you are thinking about starting a marijuana dispensary business in Washington. Since I-502 is so new, we think it's important to explore its limitations and consequences for business owners who are contemplating entering the market. For example:

  • Where can marijuana production and sales legally occur?
  • What requirements does the law place on distributors?
  • What effect does I-502 have on existing medical marijuana dispensaries?
  • Do county specific or federal provisions supersede the new law?

And perhaps most importantly, what consequences exist for noncompliance with I-502?

As business owners, we often suffer by learning after-the-fact when our actions are not compliant with local laws. A business can usually reduce its exposure to both criminal and civil liability by being proactive, and consulting an attorney to ensure it tailors its activities to the law's confusing demands.

Though the answers to the aforementioned questions will continue to change as the law evolves, getting a jump-start on understanding I-502 can in turn help entrepreneurs seeking an early entry into the burgeoning marijuana market.

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Slinde Nelson Stanford
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