Washington Lawmaker Defends the State's Marijuana Regulation
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has released a letter sent by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In it, Sessions suggests Washington is not adequately regulating its legal marijuana market. He reiterates that Congress considers marijuana a dangerous drug and that it’s a federal crime to distribute it.
But at least one Washington legislator thinks Washington is defending how the state has regulated the drug.
Chelan Republican Representative Cary Condotta is the ranking minority member of the House Commerce and Gaming Committee, which has oversight of legal marijuana.
He says Washington has had to invent a regulatory structure, given that it’s one of the first two states in the union to regulate pot. How’s the state doing? Condotta says, so far, so good.
“I think the primary mission we’re on right now is to stabilize and keep this industry tight. We’re trying to run the best program in the United States. I think we’ve done a really good job," Condotta said. "Obviously our return is really good. We are the only state that is passing projections for income. So, obviously from a sales standpoint, we are doing well.”
There are still challenges, he says. For example, some marijuana producers are facing complaints from neighbors and others who don’t like the smell or having marijuana operations near them.
Condotta says the legislature is getting pressure to loosen up the rules to allow marijuana use in lounges and other places created for those who want to light up.