yakima herald

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Washington: Liquor Control Board Chairwoman Uses Marijuana For Pain


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The soon-to-retire chairwoman of the Washington State Liquor Control Board -- which is in charge of recreational marijuana in the state, and perhaps soon medicinal cannabis as well -- has admitted she used medical marijuana this week to control pain after a knee replacement surgery.

Sharon Foster said her doctors sent her home with heavy painkillers, reports The News Tribune of Tacoma. "I have enough oxycodone to go on the black market," she said.

But Foster decided opioids weren't for her. She opted instead this week to use marijuana, which she's been in charge of regulating for two years now. She obtained some cannabis-infused brownies for that purpose.

“By the time I went to bed, which was maybe an hour and a half or two hours after I ate this brownie — piece of brownie — I didn’t feel anything,” Foster told the News Tribune’s statehouse reporter. “So all I know is, I was relaxed enough to go to sleep. So if I was high, I don’t know it,” she claimed.

Foster reportedly used the brownies Sunday night, Monday night, and again Tuesday night.

Washington: Legal Marijuana Stores Having Trouble Matching Black Market Prices


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Due to the onerous nature of Washington state's regulations on the legal marijuana industry, including an overbearing tax scheme, the legal marijuana stores which have opened as the badly written I-502 is implemented are reportedly having trouble turning a profit -- even at $30 a gram.

Despite brining in more than $440,000 in sales since July, Station 420 in Union Gap is still in the red financially, according to owner Adam Markus, reports Mike Fault at the Yakima Herald-Republic.

"We have yet to make a profit here," Markus said. "And there are a lot of other people who got into this just thinking they were going to be millionaires in a year, and now they're having a hard time."

Washington state had $15.6 million in marijuana sales in November, more than double the figures from August, and pot shop owners say prices have come down by as much as half since July as supplies have increased.

But then there's the pesky fact that the prices of legal weed are still roughly double to triple those on the black market. Consumers aren't morons, and if the "guy you know down the street" is selling righteous pot for $10 a gram (a typical price both on the street and in the medical marijuana community), who wants to pay $30 a gram for the "privilege" of buying the stuff in a legal store?

Washington: Yakama Nation Moves To Ban Marijuana In 10 Counties


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Yakama Nation of Washington state is moving to ban marijuana -- legalized by state voters in 2012 -- in all 10 counties of its ancestral lands, covering one-fifth of the state's territory.

The tribe has already banned cannabis on its 1.2 million-acre reservation near Yakima, reports Mike Faulk at the Yakima Herald.

Tribal representatives said they would fight the state to keep marijuana businesses off ceded lands. The tribe could sue the state in federal court if no compromise is reached, according to Yakama Nation Tribal Council Chairman Harry Smiskin.

"We're merely exercising what the treaty allows us to do, and that is prevent marijuana grows (and sales) on those lands," Smiskin claimed.

The Yakama Nation was to have exclusive use of the 1.2 million-acre reservation under the Yakama Treaty of 1855 with the federal government, in addition to fishing, hunting and food-gathering rights on more than 12 million acres of ceded land.

The tribe has, in the past, won in court against federal and state government as well as private interests, but most of those cases have been regarding access to natural and cultural resources.

"To my knowledge, this would be the first time" the tribe has sued to prevent implementation of a law on all ceded land, said George Colby, a lawyer for the Yakama Nation.

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