Washington Bill Aims to Reduce, Eliminate I-502 Possession and Transfer Penalties

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Democratic representatives in Washington State have introduced legislation that would reduce the person-to-person, or “delivery,” and possession without packaging penalties under the I-502 regime, which currently provide for a class C felony charge.

Under the current law, any exchange of cannabis – including those without remuneration – not completed through a state-sponsored establishment remains illegal, despite voters approving the adult-use initiative in 2012.

The bill, sponsored by Reps. Steve Kirby and Mia Gregerson, would reduce those penalties to class 2 civil infractions if the person is in possession of less than 7 grams of concentrates that is “not accompanied by packaging showing that the [concentrates] were not purchased from a marijuana retailer.” If a person possesses more than 7 grams but less than 14 grams without the appropriate packaging, the new charge would be a misdemeanor. The felony charge would remain for those possessing more than 14 grams of concentrates without the appropriate packaging.

Under the proposal, charges are also reduced to misdemeanor for “possession of marijuana, useable marijuana, marijuana-infused products, or marijuana concentrates in excess of the statutory limits, but not in excess of two times the statutory limits;” possessing more than 15 cannabis plants; and possessing cannabis under 21-years-old.

Additionally, the law would allow delivery of up to a half ounce of cannabis, 8 ounces of infused products in solid form, 36 ounces of infused products in liquid form, and 3.5 grams of purchased cannabis concentrates from person-to-person provided both are older than 21. Sales penalties for up to one-half ounce of cannabis, 8 ounces of solid-form infused products, 36 ounces of liquid-form products, and 3.5 grams of legally-purchased concentrates are reduced to misdemeanors under the proposal.

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If passed the bill would take effect 90 days after the conclusion of the session during which it is passed. It will be sent to the House Committee on Commerce and Gaming.

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