Washington Marijuana Distribution Laws

What Is Possession With Intent To Distribute Marijuana in Washington?

Marijuana possession with intent to distribute is an offense charged by law enforcement when there is reason to believe that an individual is in possession of the controlled substance and intends to sell, deliver, or distribute it to another person. Usually, when an individual possesses more than an amount thought to be for personal use, law enforcement will charge the individual with the intent to distribute. Marijuana possession with intent to distribute is not the same as simple marijuana possession. In simple marijuana possession, the amount caught in possession of the offender is typically small (less than 40 grams), and there is suspicion of sale or distribution on the part of the offender.

In order to convict a defendant for marijuana possession with intent to distribute, the burden of proof lies with the prosecutor. The prosecutor may attempt to prove intent by showing sales records, the presence of weighing scales, the presence of packaging materials for marijuana, and the presence of large amounts of money on the defendant at the time of the arrest.

Can You Enter a Dispensary at 18 in Washington?

No. You can only enter a cannabis dispensary in Washington if you are 21 or older. Washington’s I-502 only permits adults of legal age to enter the dispensary to purchase recreational weed. If you are a medical marijuana patient, you must be at least 18 in order to enter a medical cannabis dispensary to purchase medical marijuana.

Can You Enter a Dispensary Without a Card in Washington?

Adults aged 21 or older are required to show valid government-issued identification cards proving that they are of legal age to enter licensed cannabis dispensaries in Washington. Medical marijuana patients who want to buy medical marijuana cards must show their medical marijuana identification cards at medical cannabis dispensaries.

What Are the Penalties for Possession With Intent To Distribute First Offense in Washington?

Pursuant to RCW 69.50.430, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute any amount of the substance is a Class C felony which is penalized by up to 5 years imprisonment, a maximum $10,000 fine, or both. There is a further mandatory $1,000 fine for the first offense.

Although some states are relaxing their marijuana laws, marijuana remains a Schedule I restricted drug in the United States. Under the United States Constitution, the following are the penalties for marijuana possession with intent to distribute:

  • Less than 50kg: Up to 5 years imprisonment
  • 50-99 kg: Up to 20 years imprisonment
  • 100 - 999 kg: 5 - 40 years imprisonment
  • 1,000 kg or more: 10 years - life imprisonment

Is It Legal To Sell Weed in Washington?

No. It is illegal to sell weed in Washington except if you have obtained the license to carry out marijuana sales. Marijuana may only be sold and purchased from state-licensed retail stores. Homegrown marijuana for sale is illegal. In Washington, the barter of exchange of marijuana for anything of value may be construed as selling.

How To Sell to Dispensaries in Washington?

In order to sell to dispensaries in Washington, you must obtain a cannabis processor license from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB). The cannabis process license permits the licensee to process, package, and label usable cannabis, concentrates and cannabis-infused products for sale at wholesale to other licensed cannabis processors and cannabis retailers. To obtain the cannabis processor license, you must obtain local approvals from relevant authorities in your locality, register your business with the Washington Secretary of State, obtain relevant business permits, and complete an application to the WSLCB.

How To Get a Distribution License in Washington

Washington does not issue a cannabis distribution license. However, the state issues a cannabis transporter license which permits licensees to physically transport or deliver cannabis concentrates, and cannabis-infused products between approved cannabis businesses in the state.

Application for the cannabis transporter license must be submitted to the Business Licensing Service (BLS) of the Washington State Department of Revenue online or by mail. In order to apply for this license, the business must:

  • Present a copy of their Utilities and Transportation Commission-approved common carrier license (UTC). All vehicles and trailers must also be approved as common carriers by the UTC
  • Provide documentation of business general liability insurance
  • Present proof of ownership of the vehicle used for transportation, such as title, registration, and lease
  • Pay the application fee of $250

For more information on obtaining the cannabis transporter license, visit the BLS website and the cannabis licensing page on the WSLCB website.