Washington DC Weed Laws 2023: The Ultimate Guide


Yes, it is legal to use weed in Washington for both patients and adults. However, public consumption is prohibited and the consumer will be fined $100.

Legal history

The State of Washington legalized medical marijuana under Initiative 692 (I-692), commonly known as the Medical Use of Marijuana Act of 1998, which passed with nearly 60% of the vote. The law specified that people with specific chronic, incurable illnesses or intractable pain were eligible to use medical marijuana. The passage of SB I-692 in 2015 granted legal protections to qualifying patients and their caregivers for the possession and consumption of medical marijuana.

The Washington Statewide Initiative 502 (I-502), the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act, was approved by voters on the state 2012 general election with 55% of the vote. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2017 legalizes the recreational use and possession of marijuana for individuals 21 and older, as well as creates a regulatory structure for the state’s cannabis industry. The I-502 initiative, which legalized marijuana in the state of Washington, gave the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) oversight over all marijuana licensing and administration.

After cannabis was legalized in the state of Washington in late 2015, the Washington Legislature passed SB 5052, the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (CPPA), laying down official state rules for local marijuana firms.

Cannabis Purchasing Rules

Cannabis may only be lawfully obtained from a state-licensed dealer if purchased for medical or recreational use. In Washington, instead of dispensaries, medically authorized shops sell exclusively to patients.

Registered patients in medical marijuana can purchase any amount of cannabis from the following list:

  • 3 ounces (85 grams) of cannabis
  • 48 ounces (1.36 kilograms) of infused products in solid form
  • 1.69 gallons (6.4 liters) of infused products in liquid form 
  • 21 grams of concentrate

Adults 21 years of age and older, as well as unregistered patients, can purchase any combination of the following amounts:

  • 1 ounce (28.35 grams) of usable marijuana
  • 16 ounces (454 grams) of infused products in solid form
  • 72 fluid ounces (2.13 liters) of infused products in liquid form
  • 7 grams of cannabis concentrate

If you’re purchasing cannabis for recreational purposes, you’ll need to show a valid government-issued ID. Patients must display their medical marijuana registry identification cards. If a tribal ID card is acceptable as identification fulfills the following conditions:

  • The Tribe has informed the Board that it will utilize the ID card to buy marijuana.
  • The enrollment card has a photo, a signature, and a date of birth on it.
  • The cardholder’s information is verified much like a driver’s license would be.

A retail marijuana tax in Washington state applies. All retail marijuana sales are subject to a 37% tax, in addition to normal state and local taxes. Patients who receive medical cannabis through an authorized dispensary are not charged an excise tax or a retail sales tax. 

Weed Laws

Possession of Cannabis

Adults 21 and older can lawfully own or consume cannabis in Washington under adult-use laws.

  • 1 ounce (28 grams) of usable marijuana
  • 16 ounces (454 grams) in solid form
  • 72 fluid ounces (2 liters) in liquid form
  • 7 grams of cannabis concentrate

Medical marijuana patients can also have:

  • 3 ounces (85 grams) of cannabis
  • 48 ounces (1.3 kilograms) in solid form
  • 1.69 gallons (6.4 liters) in liquid form 
  • 21 grams of concentrate

It’s illegal to drive while high on marijuana, and cannabis use in automobiles is prohibited. Cannabis may be carried in automobiles, but it must be kept inside a sealed container or in the trunk. It is, however, unlawful to transport any open package or container of cannabis or marijuana-infused goods. It is still illegal to transport cannabis from one state to another.

In Washington, 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood is the legal driving limit, and a blood test may be taken at a police station or a medical facility. The state advises waiting at least five hours after smoking edibles before getting behind the wheel.

Cultivation of Cannabis

Cannabis may not be grown at home for adult use. However, medical patients who are in the medical marijuana database can grow up to six plants and possess up to 8 ounces of usable marijuana from those plants in their homes unless their doctor has allowed a bigger quantity. Patients authorized by a health-care professional to grow up to 15 plants and up to 16 ounces (454 grams) of usable marijuana may do so. Patients who have permission from a doctor but haven’t registered in the database are permitted to cultivate four plants and possess 6 ounces of cannabis produced from those plants.

Medical Marijuana Registration

The medical marijuana program is managed by the Department of Health. Patients in the authorization database who possess medical marijuana identification cards can purchase items tax-free and in greater amounts than recreational users.

Some healthcare providers may set an earlier expiration date on health insurance cards for adults and children, however most do not.

Application procedure

  • Contact an authorized healthcare service provider such as Advanced registered nurse practitioner, Medical doctor, Naturopathic physician, Osteopathic physician, Osteopathic physician assistant, Physician assistant
  • Obtain a medical marijuana authorization and a qualifying condition diagnosis from your health care provider. If required, provide the name and contact information of a designated provider (caregiver).
  • Visit a medical-endorsed shop to pick up your medical marijuana card. Store charges must be at least $1 per card, but there is no upper limit.

420VL Team

Author Since:  July 2, 2022

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