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Marijuana ‘Clubs’ Are Now Illegal In Washington State

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marijuana clubs washington

(image via katu)

Recently the State of Washington passed House Bill 2136. The provision of the bill that got the most attention was the revamping of the Washington marijuana tax structure. Previously recreational marijuana was taxed three different times along the process (25% x 3), however, the new legislation changed the tax to a one time tax of 37% at the point of purchase. A provision that didn’t get much attention until now is a ban on marijuana ‘clubs’ in Washington. Per the Inlander:

Marijuana clubs, a place where stoners can gather in a social setting, are now illegal in Washington state.

Tucked inside HB 2136, a bill hailed by the state’s marijuana industry as a way to make the heavy taxation it faces more palatable, is a provision that outlaws marijuana clubs.

The new law makes operating “a club, association, or other business, for profit or otherwise, that conducts or maintains a premises for the primary or incidental purpose of providing a
location where members or other persons may keep or consume marijuana on the premises” a class c felony.

The 2012 ballot measure that legalized marijuana in Washington prohibits the consumption of marijuana in public. A handful of establishments, such as the Members Lounge in Spokane Valley, have used legal loopholes to stay open. Ganja enthusiasts wanting to enter the lounge have to buy a membership, making the club a “private” not public setting. Members can bring their own marijuana or can obtain it at the lounge for a “donation” not a purchase.

Marijuana clubs are very popular in other states. I know where I live, in Oregon, they are all over the place. I think my favorite one would be a place called PGN in Keizer. It’s kind of like a rec hall for medical marijuana, complete with ping pong tables, karaoke night, and other forms of entertainment. And yes, they also sell cannabis. I think that’s the part that is concerning local officials in Washington State – that most of these clubs also sell cannabis, albeit they consider it a ‘donation’ not a for profit transaction. But as one of my friends once said, if cash walks in and cannabis walks out, regardless of what you name the transaction, there are going to be people that aren’t happy about it if it isn’t regulated for better or worse.

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  • Jordan Shorette

    dirty bastards

  • SteveSarich

    Welcome to “legalization” in Washington. What a joke.

  • Johnny oneye

    Like we didn’t see it coming
    #poppycock
    1 step forward 2 steps back

  • Sarijuana

    and the bar owners are laughing all the way to their banks

  • briteleaf

    Washington state’s high taxes are sending tons of business to the black market who can easily under-sell them as well as sending residents to Oregon where taxes will be about 1/2 of what Washington is charging. Like many states to come, Washington has to learn that cannabis is NOT the way to balance your state budget. As early as October of this year, Oregon will open sales of recreational cannabis with a lower tax designed to eliminate the black market and open a steady revenue stream. Washington citizens will certainly take advantage of it and come to Oregon where the best cannabis on the planet is grown.

    • Sean Hajny

      Sorry hunny. Washington taxs suck but we grow the dank #1 best chrinic in the world. Ill be moving to oregon as well but bringing my genetics and methods with me.

  • Wow! Are you serious? I’m in Michigan and that’s BS What a game people want to play with peoples medication. I’m sorry to hear this for the good people of Washington.

  • allan morris
  • Luis Morales

    This is so F ridicolous, More Gov control over people, 37% tax wow fuck them looks somebody need money for a new war,

  • PunkRockOldLady

    Give it time. To paraphrase an AA thing that I learned from my ex-husband, legalization is a process, not an event. There will be bumps and backwards movements but over time things will get better. Think about gay rights and how many setbacks same-sex marriage had before it was legalized everywhere. Running to the black market doesn’t help the process, by the way. It’s important to support legal cannabis businesses – it’s the only way to normalize this.