Over the last few decades, cannabis has grown from being a taboo topic to an everyday therapeutic or recreational option for millions of people. Thankfully, Washington state has a longstanding reputation for being more accepting of cannabis. Nevertheless, if you are new to considering cannabis, you probably have a few questions about the laws in the state. Is weed legal in Washington, who can buy it, and how much? We’ve pulled together the specifics on Washington weed laws to get you started.
First, Is Weed Legal in Washington State?
Yes, weed is currently legal for medical and recreational use in Washington State. The state of Washington has had a unique relationship with the legal status of weed. In fact, the state actually recognized that there was a “medical necessity defense” for people who were using cannabis for medical purposes way back in 1979. And, there were several initiatives taken to try to make cannabis more accessible to people who needed it. Nevertheless, medical cannabis wasn’t formerly passed in WA until 1998 with Initiative 692. In 2012, Washington was the frontrunner in making cannabis use legal for recreational purposes.
FAQs About Washington State Weed Laws
The laws for cannabis in Washington have been relatively well-honed over the years. Since the state has been legal for longer than a lot of others, a lot of the nuances have been worked out and the laws are pretty straightforward. Medical cannabis is overseen by the Washington State Department of Health, while the recreational cannabis program is overseen by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Control Board.
Who can buy weed in WA?
Adults who are 21 years of age or older can purchase cannabis in the state of Washington with a valid government-issued photo ID. Any patient that has been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition has access to medical cannabis use authorization. Qualifying conditions include things like:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Seizure disorders
- Pain not relieved through standard treatment
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Traumatic brain injury
Where to buy weed in WA?
Weed is available for purchase through licensed cannabis retailers in the state. In order to buy medical cannabis, you do have to look for a dispensary that has a medical endorsement, which basically means the retailer is allowed by the state to serve medical customers. Dispensaries like HWY 420 in Silverdale and Bremerton are available to serve both recreational and medical cannabis customers.
How much weed can you buy or possess in WA?
The possession limits in the state of Washington are:
- 1 ounce of cannabis flower
- 16 ounces of cannabis-infused edibles, such as brownies or gummies
- 72 ounces of cannabis-infused liquid, such as seltzers, juices, or teas
- 7 grams of weed concentrates
It should be noted, you can also visit more than one dispensary in a day. Your purchases will be tracked so you don’t go over your purchase limits.
What about cannabis in your car in WA?
Cannabis is treated a lot like alcoholic beverages when it comes to carrying it in your vehicle. In other words, any cannabis that you purchase from the dispensary should be kept in its unopened package and out of reach. A lot of customers will place their cannabis products (unopened) in the trunk for good measure. Even if you are not driving and simply riding along with someone else, having an open cannabis container is still illegal.
Where can I use cannabis after my purchase?
The general rule is you can’t use your cannabis in a public location. This means you can’t use cannabis or cannabis products anywhere that would have you in public view. Therefore, it is best to stick to consuming cannabis in the privacy of your home or a friend’s home. If you rent, be sure to check in with your landlord; they can choose to prohibit tenant cannabis use inside the home.
Also, steer clear of federal and tribal lands, such as national parks or reservation territory. Federal laws govern what takes place in national parks, and cannabis possession or use could result in stiff penalties. Tribes set their own laws regarding cannabis use on their lands, so they may also prohibit cannabis.
Can I grow my own cannabis in WA?
Currently, as of 2022, only medical patients can obtain authorization to grow a few cannabis plants for personal use. It is still illegal for recreational users to grow cannabis on their own property. Even though there have been attempts to change these laws with HB 1019, which was proposed in 2021, that bill is yet to pass.
Can you take cannabis back home if you live out of state?
While you can purchase cannabis as an out-of-state visitor in the state of Washington, you can’t legally drive it back home. Transporting cannabis across state lines is illegal, even if you live in another cannabis-legal state. For this reason, it is best to make plans to stay in the area and consume your cannabis products before heading back home if you are an out-of-state visitor.
Have More Questions About Cannabis in WA? We Can Help
At HWY 420, we’re dedicated to building a positive relationship with our customers. But even more than that, we’re devoted to making sure our customers have good cannabis experiences. From building a menu with the quality and diversity of products customers expect to serving as knowledgeable professionals in the industry, we’re here to help. If you have questions about cannabis in WA, feel free to ask. And, be sure to take a look at the HWY 420 blog to learn about cannabis strains, brand picks, and more.