Initiative 502

Ryan Kang / Associated Press

Washington authorities are accepting applications for new marijuana retail licenses. Gone are the license quotas and lotteries used to award licenses when marijuana was first legalized. Now, there are no limits on the number of licenses to be granted.

When I-502 was first implemented, state regulators made a map, with a certain number of marijuana stores anticipated in each city or county. Licenses were highly sought after. But when state legislators opened the licensing process to medical marijuana businesses in the spring, they lifted those quotas.

Carline Jean MCT / Landov

The nonprofit community health centers of Washington are concerned about the latest action by lawmakers dealing with money from marijuana sales in the state.

Initiative 502, which legalized recreational marijuana, mandated that 5 percent of tax revenues from pot sales go to nonprofit community health centers.

But the public policy director for Community Health Network, Molly Belozer Firth, said the House and Senate have both proposed budgets that divert that money elsewhere, rather than to what they see as a priority, serving the uninsured.

Brennan Linsley / Associated Press

The city of Vancouver, Wash., already has two retail marijuana stores with another on the way. At some point, it’s possible the city could have as many as six.

“That’s what our future looks like,” said Vancouver Councilman Jack Burkman. “We’re going to have a number of these.”

He said increasing the prevalence of pot in the city is certain to have a cost.

“We don’t know what all those impacts are but we believe there are going to be impacts on police. There’s going to be impacts on education,” he said.


Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is seeking to get involved in three lawsuits against cities that ban marijuana businesses.

Washington Lawmakers Consider New Pot Regulations

Mar 12, 2013

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington state regulators could consider the criminal backgrounds of people looking to legally sell marijuana. That’s one provision of a bill rolled out Tuesday in Olympia to regulate pot sales.

On Eve Of Legalization, Concerns About Pot Law Remain

Dec 6, 2012

At the stroke of midnight, adult marijuana users will no longer be lawbreakers in Washington. But lots of legal questions remain about how marijuana commerce will work, where it’s legal to use and how the federal government will respond.

Hot-Button Initiatives, After the Vote

Nov 5, 2012

Marijuana legalization. Same-sex marriage. These are hot-button issues on the ballot for Washington voters. Even after the measures are decided, the debate will likely continue.

New Approach Washington

This November, voters in Oregon and Washington will decide whether to legalize marijuana. The Washington effort is backed by some deep-pocketed national donors. But Oregon's campaign is struggling to raise even a bare minimum of cash.

David Snyder / National Park Service

Oregon and Washington are contemplating a dramatic shift in drug policy this November. But the initiatives to legalize marijuana are getting little attention from state lawmakers on the campaign trail.