Marijuana dispensaries in Seattle, WA
Marijuana dispensaries in Seattle, WA
Visiting a Seattle dispensary
Over the past 20 years, Seattle has rocketed from a rather populous city in the Pacific Northwest to one of the most bustling metropolises on the West Coast — and its relationship with cannabis is likely a contributing factor. Washington state was among the first in the nation to legalize recreational cannabis, and Seattle’s attitude regarding weed remains progressive, despite the state law which can be restrictive at times. Before visiting a Seattle dispensary, you should get to know the laws and regulations that affect how you can purchase, possess, and consume cannabis in the city.
Cannabis laws to know in Seattle
Seattle boasts legal medical and recreational cannabis — and it has done so for longer than almost any other city in the nation. Washingtonians first legalized medical cannabis in 1997, but legal dispensaries would not become available until after voters passed recreational cannabis regulations in 2012. Though some “illegal” dispensaries operated around Seattle for much of the early 2000s, the first legal Seattle dispensaries opened their doors in 2014.
Seattle’s recreational cannabis regulations
Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) creates and enforces state laws regarding recreational cannabis. In Seattle, only adults aged 21 years and older can enter retail dispensaries, make purchases, possess cannabis products, and consume legally. In Seattle, as elsewhere in Washington, possession limits for recreational users are as follows:
1 ounce of dry flower
7 grams of concentrates or extracts (for dabbing)
16 ounces of infused product in edible form
72 ounces of infused product in liquid form
All cannabis products can only be obtained from a licensed recreational dispensary in Seattle. Personal cultivation for recreational use is prohibited in Washington.
Seattle’s medical cannabis regulations
In Seattle, patients with qualifying medical conditions are allowed to participate in the state’s medical marijuana program, which grants them additional permissions under cannabis law. Patients with valid medical marijuana authorization are subject to higher possession limits, as follows:
3 ounces of dry flower
21 grams of concentrates or extracts
48 ounces of infused product in edible form
216 ounces of infused product in liquid form
Further, patients are permitted to grow up to four cannabis plants for personal use, and from their home cultivation, patients can possess up to eight ounces of dry flower at a time. Unfortunately, Washington does not offer medical marijuana program reciprocity, meaning out-of-state medical marijuana patients must use recreational regulations during their visit to a Seattle dispensary.
How to get a medical marijuana card in Seattle
Seattle residents interested in acquiring medical marijuana authorization must submit an application to the Washington Department of Health. This application should contain evidence of diagnosis of a qualifying health condition, a completed form from a health care provider in Washington (such as an MD, DO, PA, DOA, ARNP, or naturopathic physician), proof of residency within Washington, and the payment of a $95 processing fee. Authorization and cards do expire and need to be renewed periodically.
Where is it legal to consume cannabis in Seattle?
Despite being a top weed-cation destination in the U.S., Seattle’s consumption laws remain strict. Currently, Seattle prohibits cannabis consumption — to include opening cannabis product packaging — in any public space or in view of the public. Qualified adults and patients are permitted to consume in private spaces, given property owner permission. Consuming on Seattle dispensary property is, as yet, illegal, but advocates are optimistic about the opportunity to open cannabis lounges and coffeeshops in the coming years. For now, visitors to Seattle need to secure 420-friendly accommodations to legally use during their trip.
How to buy cannabis at a Seattle dispensary
Most Seattle dispensaries are open all day, from roughly 8AM to 10PM, seven days per week. Though cannabis delivery isn’t strictly allowed in Washington state, most dispensaries do take online orders and arrange curbside pickup — and some do offer home delivery within a certain distance from dispensary premises.
How much does cannabis cost in Seattle?
Cannabis prices can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood around Seattle. The average cost of a gram of dry flower in Seattle is about $10, but rare or specialty strains can be as much as $20 per gram. Concentrates, edibles, and other manufactured products are likely to cost more — though the more competitive market tends to keep prices lower at pot dispensaries in Seattle compared to weed shops in California or Nevada.
Cannabis taxes in Seattle
Though Washington doesn’t tax cultivators or dispensary businesses, it does impose a whopping 37% excise tax on cannabis in addition to its standard 6.5% sales tax on all retail purchases. In contrast, medical marijuana in Seattle dispensaries is exempt from taxation. Fortunately, tax revenues from cannabis sales help to fund public health programs around Washington state, to include drug addiction treatment initiatives around Seattle.