I’ve been writing about cannabis for ten years but championing for over 20, so you might say I have an understanding of the nature of this plant.
Before I502 made cannabis recreational, there was the medical market/ scene. A time when no one gave a fuck about those consuming cannabis. There were no news stories on how the cannabis consumer was wreaking havoc in society. Instead, the cannabis consumer went unnoticed, unless you were law enforcement looking to do a shakedown, as in the case of Lance Gloor whose troubles started with a law enforcement scam known as WESTNET.
Before I502, there were markets, High Times Cups, and safe spaces for consumption; there was no mass hysteria due to the normalization of cannabis use.
Capitalism vs. The Capital
The medical market/ scene was the purest form of a free market and capitalism. At the time everyone had a chance to be part of “the industry.” Seeds and clones were readily available for the average consumer, and one could have a grow and sell to shops. I never took part in this at the time because “growing quality cannabis is hard.”
During the 14 years of medical marijuana in Washington State, there were many raids on farms and dispensaries, but none were part of a diversion to other States that the Cole Memo feared of.
Lab Regulation is Plant Regulation
Washington State’s legalization is a hot mess. The grownups in charge are there not for their experience with cannabis but with business and the law. Besides the lack of cannabis experience the board members have, there’s also the fact that there’s a big lobbyists contingency known as WACA who help manipulate the rules in favor for their members, as in the most recent attempt remove a board member to help facilitate a new standard.
A good portion of the people in charge on both the regulatory side and producer side give no actual fucks about the end product and consumer. This can be noted by the rule of only requiring full testing for medical marijuana and not that intended for recreational use by the WSLCB and by the organization known as WACA’s stance on Homegrow for the average Joe which is no.
Besides the players in the rule game, you got the misguided rules they’ve established. Seed to sale is seed to fail. Why aren’t peanuts tracked? Something that has killed or apples counted since it can be turned to cider? Marijuana got a bad social rap; the tides are changing on reasons to pull someone over because you don’t like the color of their skin. Criminal indicators usually mean you were too dark to drive or have out of state plants, once that happens if they can say they smelled marijuana. How many times are people searched for a smell that stops no crime?
Insisting that consumers have an informed opinion about what’s put into their body, is regulation for the consumer, not the fear of willing adults transacting cannabis also known as called diversion.
One day marijuana will be as cheap as green beans because it will just be another part of an American diet or not; no one says you have to consume but I, as a citizen, should have the choice to. The Washington shit show includes misguided regulation in a way to nickel and dime participants while making it also costly just to try. They rely on a tracking system that shouldn’t crash or have as many glitches that occur which also hurts the participants of the I502 industry.
If the WSLCB is listening, I ask they consider the title of this section “Lab regulation is Plant regulation.” Do your tracking system but go offline because online isn’t working for you. Instead of fining producers, processors, and stores for arbitrary ad or swag violations, focus on the labs and testing requirements for cannabis. Recreational or medicinal, require full spectrum testing and labeling, people will smoke it anyways.