Friday, April 12, 2013

Seattle Pot Tourism Set to Take Off

When the State of Washington voted to legalize marijuana in November, legislators envisioned a tourism explosion. As such, they have begun to prepare for this sudden influx of visitors in an attempt to prevent pot tourism from opening the door to illegal activities. A new state-hired consultant projects that the State of Washington may earn an additional $180 million a year in tax revenue from marijuana sales alone.

Entrepreneurs are also preparing for marijuana tourism as a serious tourism industry and would like to see Washington's pot tourism take-off in the coming years. They have already begun planning different business models in order to take full advantage of the pot tourism. Even Washington's wine industry has anticipated full tours through organic pot farms, similar to winery tours and brewery tours.

Washington's new pot tourism will mean that more individuals will be able to get into the mix, including tour guides, guidebook writers, and even smoothie companies who are looking to sell marijuana infused smoothies. Local artists have even begun to create merchandise and art works that in an attempt to sell Washington's new "brand" of tourism. These coffee mugs, t-shirts, and hand towels will depict the most popular marijuana strains.

Even the Seattle police have gotten into the mix and have provided a guide to the legal use of marijuana. This guide is titled "Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use in Seattle."

Monday, April 8, 2013

Washington Medical Marijuana Community Wants to Remain Separate

The State of Washington recently hired a pot tsar to help them determine exactly how to regulate the production, distribution, and sale of legalized marijuana. Yet even as the state continues to move forward with legalized marijuana, providers and patients in Washington's medical marijuana community would prefer to remain segregated from I-502's rules, licenses, and taxes.

Currently, state laws allow patients who have medical marijuana authorization to grow their own cannabis plants. They are also legally protected and allowed to participate in collective gardens. The difference between medicinal marijuana and recreational marijuana has a lot to do with a compound called cannabidiol (CBD). This compound helps provide pharmacological effects that can aide patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, and other chronic-pain conditions. Medicinal marijuana plants are often bred to yield lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD.

While the medical marijuana community might be exempt from I-502's rules, a new tax is currently being proposed in the Washington state House. If this passes, it will tax medical marijuana 25% in order to avoid an underground market for medicinal pot once recreational marijuana is legally sold. Finance Chair Reuven Carlyle wants to treat medicinal marijuana the same as recreational marijuana—especially when it comes to taxation. This would mirror voter approved I-502 for medicinal marijuana in the State of Washington and is not necessarily welcomed by marijuana advocates and patients who rely on medicinal marijuana for relief.