Recreational Cannabis Regulations in the Wild West
The western portion of the United States has long been seen as the source of America’s cannabis culture. Much of the cannabis revolution came from the area and continues to serve as a guide for marketplaces and regulations. When it comes to recreational cannabis laws, each state tends to hold similar rules with minor variations.
IONIC’s presence in Washington, Oregon and California is ever-expanding. We’re also eager to expand to our fourth western market: Nevada. With so much evolving in cannabis and with our brand, this is an ideal time to look into some of the recreational cannabis laws going on in each state.
Recreational Cannabis in California
Since opening its adult use market on New Years Day 2018, California’s rules and regulations have evolved rather frequently. Some regulations have affected customers. Like, the excise taxes or the planned summer regulation changes that caused the state’s Weedpocalypse. However, most of the rule changes affect other parts of the supply chain.
Overall, the state allows adults aged 21 and over to possess up to 28.5 grams of cannabis, eight grams of concentrates, and six live plants. However, these rules can vary by municipality.
Though, one recent decision legally circumvents rules set by regions that ban cannabis sales. After much back and forth, including a majority of the public’s support, California approved home delivery across the state. Meanwhile, certain parts of the state have warmed to cannabis consumption lounges.
That includes in West Hollywood where it plans to open this year. This includes eight edible-specific cafes and eight additional lounges with a variety of consumption methods. These shops will join the Bay Area as the only current cafes open in the state.
Lastly, the state recently approved its regulations for the entire supply chain. The state’s cannabis website has all the details.
Recreational Cannabis in Nevada
Nevada allows adults 21 and over to legally purchase, possess and consume cannabis in the state. Consumers can purchase up to an ounce of flower or an eighth of concentrates. While delivery is legal in Nevada, the buyer needs to beware. A slew of illegal delivery services are now using encrypted apps to market products and message customers. Some of them rip off logos of legitimate companies to pass as a state-approved entity.
Additionally, cultivation is a tricky subject. Citizens can grow up to six plants but only if they live more than 25 miles from a dispensary.
Like California, Nevada’s efforts to launch consumption lounges has been moving along as of late. However, a deal of work remains. So far, Las Vegas has held two public workshops and has drafted an ordinance in hopes of opening a lounge this spring. However, a business licensing official for the state pointed out that lounges in Clark County would not open until at least the summer.
For more on state regulations, visit Nevada’s marijuana rules and regulations page.
Recreational Cannabis in Oregon
A person is allowed to possess up to an ounce of usable cannabis in public in the state of Oregon. Other allowances grant adults 21 and over the right to possess up to eight ounces of usable marijuana, five grams of concentrates, four plants and ten seeds, among several others.
The state closed out 2018 by revising its delivery regulations. Just before the new year, the state’s Liquor Control Commission introduced laws that permit delivery sales to medical patients even if their region has prohibited sales. At the same time, the governing body also increased the amount one can purchase during a delivery. Now, patients can obtain up to eight ounces during a purchase.
However, Oregon’s most intriguing legal aspect at this time hinges on a game-changing prospect in America: exporting cannabis. The state’s Craft Cannabis Alliance has recently been pushing state lawmakers to push the proposal forward. If approved, wholesalers would be allowed to export to another legal market. Though, this could cause friction with federal regulations. Exports are slated to begin in 2021.
Recreational Cannabis in Washington
Washington state allows adults 21 and over to purchase and possess marijuana. These individuals can buy up to an ounce of flower as well as 16 ounces of edibles in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form and seven grams of concentrates. Unlike the other states mentioned, Washington state does not allow for public consumption, and cafes do not seem to be happening at this time.
The shortage in cafe consumption progress is not due to a lack of effort. Since at least 2014, Seattle city attorneys have looked for ways to introduce pot lounges. While attorneys would like to authorize these spaces to curtail smoking on the street, nothing can be accomplished until lawmakers change the current policy.
However, the law is not the only hurdle halting public consumption. The Washington Clean Air Act bans smoking in businesses, and county clean air laws present additional barriers for businesses looking to allow vaping in Seattle and the surrounding area.
As always, each state is likely to revise and update regulations as its market mature. Expect to hear more news on public consumption as well as other key provisions surrounding home cultivation, possession limits, delivery and plenty of other hot button issues. To see what is permitted at any given time, periodically check up on state regulations.