What you need to know about recre­ational cannabis

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What you need to know about recre­ational cannabis.

On July 8, 2014, recre­ational mar­i­juana sales be­gan af­ter the pas­sage of Washington State Ini­tia­tive 502. This means it is le­gal for any­one 21 and older to pur­chase and use cannabis prod­ucts in Washington state. There are still reg­u­la­tions sur­round­ing cannabis—be­low, what you need to know to safely and legally use cannabis while in Washington.

First, to pur­chase or use cannabis prod­ucts, you must be 21 or older. When pur­chas­ing prod­ucts, a valid government-is­sued ID is re­quired. There are lim­its to how much mar­i­juana an in­di­vid­ual may pos­sess: one ounce of us­able (dried) mar­i­juana; seven grams of mar­i­juana con­cen­trate or ex­tract for in­hala­tion; 16 ounces of in­fused prod­ucts (ed­i­bles and top­i­cals) in solid form and 72 ounces of in­fused prod­ucts in liq­uid form. It is also le­gal to have mar­i­juana-re­lated para­pher­na­lia such as pipes.

When con­sum­ing mar­i­juana, re­mem­ber that it is il­le­gal to con­sume it in pub­lic. If you’d like to con­sume in your ho­tel room, check with the ho­tel first to see if smok­ing is al­lowed—there are state reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing smok­ing (of mar­i­juana or to­bacco) in places of em­ploy­ment and within 25 feet of en­trances, ex­ists, open win­dows and ven­ti­la­tion in­takes.

Be­cause mar­i­juana is still il­le­gal un­der fed­eral law, do not bring any­thing onto fed­eral prop­erty like na­tional parks, ports, air­ports or government build­ings. You also can­not cross state lines while in pos­ses­sion of cannabis prod­ucts. And re­mem­ber: don’t drive un­der the in­flu­ence. Washington state’s DUI limit is 5 nanograms of THC per mil­li­liter of blood.

So what will you find when go­ing into a re­tail cannabis store? First, stores are not al­lowed to dis­play mar­i­juana or re­lated prod­ucts where the gen­eral pub­lic can see them. You also won’t find any­thing but mar­i­juana and re­lated prod­ucts in the re­tail stores. The staff on hand, of­ten called “bud­ten­ders,” can help you de­cide which prod­ucts to buy, de­pend­ing on the kind of high you’re look­ing for. Also, have cash on hand—some spots only ac­cept cash for pay­ment. Re­tail stores gen­er­ally carry a wide va­ri­ety of cannabis flow­ers, ex­tracts, ed­i­bles, top­i­cals and para­pher­na­lia like pipes and rolling pa­pers. Prices vary de­pend­ing on the strain qual­ity and avail­abil­ity—typ­i­cally any­where from $7 to $16 a gram. ( There are 28 grams in one ounce, the amount that can be legally pur­chased at a time.)

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