When folks think of Seattle, one of two things usually comes to mind: the Space Needle or recreational marijuana and the freedom to get as high as said Space Needle. Since Washington voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana in small amounts, visitors to the Emerald City often have a specific kind of greenery on their minds.
But don’t go booking one of those infamous cannabis tours if you’re envisioning walking down the sidewalk in a cloud of cannabis-induced pleasure. There are a few laws governing use and possession that you need to know before you slide into the Seattle recreational marijuana scene – and we’ve laid them right out here for you. Take a look before you toke
Sadly for those on the younger end of the spectrum, Washington has grouped marijuana in with alcohol when it comes to the age limit for marijuana consumption. The bare-bones requirement for purchasing recreational marijuana is to be 21 and have a valid photo ID to prove it.
However, someone between 18 and 21 can be allowed into a dispensary only if they’re a qualifying medical marijuana patient who holds an authorization or recognition card.
Places to Purchase
This one’s easy: you can only buy marijuana at state-licensed retail stores. Don’t worry, all dispensaries must display their license plain view – and would be shut down if they were noncompliant. So, as long as you’re entering what is obviously a place of business and not meeting some guy in an alley, then you are ready to go!
In fact, Seattle has so many recreational marijuana dispensaries that the Liquor and Cannabis Board is no longer accepting new license applications!
If you’re a medical patient and you still want the expertise of specifically trained staff, you should consult this list of medically endorsed stores with a consultant. These stores are still recreational but can give you the specialized service you need.
Though you may try, you’re not allowed to get too much of a good thing. Recreational marijuana purchase limits are as follows:
- 16 ounces of edibles in a solid form, or
- 72 ounces of edibles in liquid form, or
- 7 grams of concentrates
Medical patients have higher limits on allowed purchase, but for most recreational users these limits are pretty reasonable!
What You Cannot Do
Now that you know the basics of how to purchase let’s talk about what the law says you can’t do with your newly bought green.
- NO Public Use: Basically, follow the guidelines you would with alcohol as well as cigarettes. That means no smoking cannabis anywhere in public view. This limits you pretty much to private residences. The word of the law is that products “reasonably identifiable by sight or smell as marijuana or a product derived from marijuana” cannot be opened or consumed in view of the general public or in a public place.
- NO Driving: It is 100% illegal to drive high. Doing so will net you a cannabis DUI and a hefty fine anywhere from $350 to $5000
- NO Resale or Gifting: This one’s a little tougher. While it makes sense to ban the resale of marijuana, most recreational marijuana users like to swap strains with a friend every now and again. Just be aware that in Seattle, it’s against the law for cannabis to change hands even as a gift.
- NO Travel: Last but not least, don’t even think about leaving Washington with any cannabis products in your possession! Unfortunately, that does include people who are traveling to Oregon, where recreational marijuana is also legal.
There you have it! The laws for recreational marijuana in Seattle are relatively straightforward. Even if the consumption in public rule narrows down your options a bit. But now you know everything you need to enjoy all the Emerald City has to offer!