Washington State Marijuana Industry Split on out of States Owners

Eric Gaston owns pot stores in Renton and Auburn. He looks at lobbying in Olympia to allow out-of-state owners in Washington’s legal marijuana industry and sees trouble, a red flag waved in front of President Trump’s administration.

“This has the potential to make Jeff Sessions’ head explode,” said Gaston, a former Snohomish County prosecutor, referring to Trump’s nominee for U.S. attorney general. Sessions would be chief enforcer of the nation’s drug laws, which still consider pot in the same class as heroin.

Susan Gress owns a small pot farm on Vashon Island. She sees the out-of-state ownership bills in the state Legislature, with bipartisan sponsors, as a lifeline, a way for her business to grow and survive.

“The funds we could use to create more jobs and tax income for our state instead will go to states like Colorado and California,” said Gress, a former editor at Pulp & Paper International magazine. At a recent hearing in Olympia she told lawmakers that out-of-state investors have approached her but want a stake in her farm that state law now prohibits. [Read more at Seattle Times]

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