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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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EWU professor dies in climbing accident

Anna Dvorak didn’t like to waste time. By age 28, the former professional mountain biker had a doctorate in geography and a tenure-track job at Eastern Washington University. Her free time was spent outside, hiking, biking or mountaineering. “She never lived life with fear. She lived life fully,” said close friend Teodora Baba. “She loved to do everything fast.”

Senate passes pot tax bill

OLYMPIA – Changes to the state’s marijuana taxes and the way they will be spent received final approval from the Senate and were sent to Gov. Jay Inslee Saturday. After rejecting a proposal that would allow communities that ban marijuana to share some of the state’s revenue from the heavily taxed substance, the Senate voted 36-7 to approve the changes. The bill substitutes the current 25 percent excise tax on marijuana on the three levels of licensing – growing, processing and retail – for a 37 percent excise tax collected by the retailer. Recreational marijuana also will carry a 10 percent sales tax. That tax will be waived for medical marijuana.

State House approves taxes on medical marijuana

OLYMPIA – Medical marijuana patients would pay many of the same taxes as recreational pot users under a bill approved Friday by the House. On a 59-38 vote, the House passed major revisions to Washington’s rapidly evolving marijuana laws, even though some lawmakers argued the rates were too high and the state is expecting to collect far too much in tax revenue by projecting sales that amount to nearly 1 ounce of marijuana for each of the state’s residents.

4 pot stores caught selling to minors in state sting

OLYMPIA -- Four licensed marijuana stores in Western Washington sold pot to a minor working with the state agency on "compliance checks. The owners face a $2,500 fine and possible suspension. The seller could be charged by a local prosecutor.

Washington Legislature wraps up – for now

OLYMPIA – A few hours before the gavel came down on the regular session, Gov. Jay Inslee signed one of the most-discussed laws, one that brings medical marijuana under much of the same state control and oversight as the newer recreational pot system. Patients will have an optional registry, which will get them a state card and allow them to avoid some taxes. They’ll be able to grow their own supplies, join small grower cooperatives and buy tested products at state stores.

Willie Nelson rolls out marijuana brand

Country music star Willie Nelson announced plans Monday to roll out his own brand of marijuana, capitalizing on his association with pot and the unofficial stoner holiday, 4/20.

Washington Senate OKs marijuana regulation changes

OLYMPIA – A major revision to the state’s marijuana laws, blending the medical and recreational systems and setting up a voluntary registry for adult patients, overwhelmingly passed the Senate on Tuesday and was sent to Gov. Jay Inslee. Changes to the two systems – the heavily regulated recreational pot and the largely unregulated medical marijuana – drew some of the largest and most vocal crowds as it worked its way through committee hearings over the last three months. Some patients said they would be afraid to register as a user of a drug that is still illegal under federal law. Others urged legislators not to disrupt their access to strains of marijuana that were successfully treating pain, epilepsy, cancer or post-traumatic stress disorder when pharmaceuticals have failed them.

Senate passes medical marijuana changes

OLYMPIA – A major revision to the state's marijuana laws that blends the medical and recreational systems and sets up a voluntary registry for adult patients, overwhelmingly passed the Senate Tuesday and was sent to Gov. Jay Inslee.

House passes marijuana revisions

OLYMPIA -- Medical marijuana patients would have to register with the state and pay taxes on the pot they buy from state-licensed stores under major rewrites of the state pot laws that passed the House Friday evening.

WaLeg Day 89: House begins debate on pot bills

After spending most of the day in caucus, the House began debating the first of three marijuana bills, the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, about 4:25 p.m. We'll follow it live inside the blog.

Washington lawmakers study marijuana rules

OLYMPIA – Leading the way for legalized marijuana nationally doesn’t mean just anything goes in Washington when it comes to pot. Instead, it provides a springboard into new questions for lawmakers, sessions in House committees proved Monday.

Pot lounges among marijuana issues lawmakers asked to consider

OLYMPIA – As legislators worked this week to blend the state’s recreational and medical marijuana laws, Spokane Valley officials asked them to consider one more wrinkle in the rapidly changing marketplace: pot lounges. The Members Lounge, which is connected to a medical marijuana dispensary and allows consumption of some vapor and edible marijuana products on its premises, is an example of where the state’s two very different systems don’t mesh well. Using recreational marijuana in public is not legal, but the law is silent on public consumption of medical marijuana, and the lounge contends its patrons aren’t in public but become members of a private club by paying a fee.

Valley asks for rules against marijuana “lounges”

OLYMPIA – As legislators worked this week to blend the state’s recreational and medical marijuana laws, Spokane Valley officials asked them to consider one more wrinkle in the rapidly changing marketplace: pot lounges.

Medical marijuana revisions proposed

OLYMPIA – Major changes to the state’s largely unregulated medical marijuana industry passed the Senate after sponsors beat back a challenge to requirements for a patient database and a plea to let recreational users grow their own. Medical marijuana stores would be regulated by the Liquor Control Board, which currently licenses recreational pot growers and sellers, under a bill drafted by Ann Rivers, R-La Center, and Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond. The agency would expand the number of licensed stores to meet the medical market, and current recreational marijuana stores could get an endorsement to sell special medical strains, which patients could buy without paying some of the heavy taxes on recreational pot.