Although recreational marijuana is now legal in Washington State, there are still ways in which growing, purchasing, and possessing marijuana can result in an arrest. If you are found by police to be in possession of more than one ounce of marijuana you can still face some significant charges. The charges and potential penalties only increase the more you possess. Some of the most serious crimes revolve around marijuana cultivation and processing.
Types of Marijuana Licensing in Washington State
In order to produce or sell marijuana, you must have a proper license from the state of Washington. The marijuana licensing body in Washington is the Liquor and Cannabis Board. There are a few different types of marijuana licenses required, depending on your ultimate level of involvement in the marijuana industry:
- Producer license
- Processor license
- Retailer license
- Transportation license
- Marijuana research license
Since recreational marijuana became legal in the state of Washington there have been 58 strictly “Marijuana Retailer” licenses issued as compared to 446 marijuana retailer licenses, which include a “Medical Marijuana Endorsement.” There have been only 17 “Marijuana Transportation” licenses issued.
As far as marijuana production and processing goes, there are three tiers of licensing to which you may apply, depending on the amount you wish to produce. “Tier 1 allows for two thousand square feet or less of dedicated plant canopy. Tier 2 allows for between two thousand square feet and ten thousand square feet of dedicated plant canopy. Tier 3 allows for between ten thousand square feet and thirty thousand square feet of dedicated plant canopy.” To process, package, and label useable marijuana you must apply for a processor license. You can hold both producer and processor licenses, but any one entity may not hold any more than three licenses. The Liquor and Cannabis Board is not accepting new applications for the producer or processor licenses.
Penalties for the Possession of Marijuana
The penalties for the possession of marijuana, in any form, without proper licensure can lead to very serious penalties. Drug possession is a class C felony. If you are convicted of drug possession charges in Washington State, you may face the following penalties:
- “Up to 5 years in prison; or
- Up to $10,000 in fines; or
- A combination of the two penalties.”
A felony conviction can follow you for the rest of your life. This kind of charge may affect employment opportunities, educational opportunities, or even your ability to obtain housing. The best way to avoid these kinds of charges is to retain strong legal representation.
Call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi
If you or a loved one has been arrested in the Seattle area for drug possession, you need an experienced and dedicated drug possession defense attorney. Steve Karimi cares about you and wants to help. He will vigorously fight the charges against you and secure your future. In some cases, you may even be able to avoid jail time. Call now for a free consultation. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today.