Thank you for your interest in the Washington CannaBusiness Association. If you are a member of the press and wish to contact us, please email media@wacannabusiness.org.

Cannabis regulations contribute to thriving market in Washington - June 30, 2017

"It is fitting that the Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA) — the regulated industry’s professional association of cannabis producers, processors and retailers — is helping lead our state’s delegation to Washington, D.C. this month, five years after the passage of Initiative 502." - Puget Sound Business Journal, Guest Column by WACA member Andy Brassington

New Washington state cannabis regulations reflect concern about federal threat - June 29, 2017

"Aaron Pickus, a spokesman for the Washington CannaBusiness Association, didn’t want to overstate the regulators’ focus on protecting the state’s marijuana industry. But he conceded 'there was certainly a change in concern about what the federal government may or may not do regarding the legal cannabis marketplace following the comments made by (the Trump administration).'" - Marijuana Business Daily

Cannabis industry thanks elected leaders for protecting marketplace - April 24, 2017

Cannabis industry thanks elected leaders for protecting marketplace - Press Release (.PDF)

The Credit Unions and Small Banks That Solved the Cannabis Cash Crisis - April 19, 2017

"Canceled accounts would cause a nightmare for every business in legal weed, especially the bigger players in the game, like Northwest Cannabis Solutions, the largest producer and processor of weed in the state by sales. [WACA Boardmember] Jerry Derevyanny, one of the company's executives, said running the enterprise—which has sold $30 million of weed products since it opened in 2014, according to 502Data.com—as an all-cash business would pose many challenges. 'It would be an operational challenge, and it would be a huge setback for us. We have more than 190 full-time employees,' Derevyanny said. 'Doing an all-cash payroll for 190 people is just a little bit crazy, and I really hope it doesn't come to that.'" - The Stranger

Trump Signals That He Wants to Restart the War on Drugs - March 8, 2017

"Aaron Pickus, a spokesperson for the Washington CannaBusiness Association, said the trade group is advising its members to closely follow the state's laws. 'Right now, we are emphasizing how important it is to make sure you are following the rules as set by Washington State,' Pickus said. 'Make sure you are dotting all your i's and crossing all your t's and following best practices to make sure that minors aren't getting into your store.'" - The Stranger

Battle Over Legal Pot - February 24, 2017

KIRO's Senior Political Reporter Essex Porter interviews WACA board member and Ponder retail license holder John Branch - KIRO 7

 

White House suggests enforcing federal marijuana laws - February 23, 2017

"[Washington Attorney General] Ferguson, who also led the states in challenging Trump's executive order on immigration, noted that he and Gov. Jay Inslee, both Democrats, previously were prepared to defend the state's legal marijuana system against any efforts by President Barack Obama's administration to shut it down. Ferguson and Inslee sent a letter last week to new Attorney General Jeff Sessions to request a meeting on the topic. [WACA board member] John Branch owns Ponder near Union and 24th Avenue in Seattle. He's been selling marijuana there since September 2015. 'I think undoing the will of the people of Washington state would be a big lift,' said Branch." - KING 5 (NBC)

Regulated Cannabis Industry Responds to White House Comments on Federal Marijuana Policy - February 23, 2017

“Washington state voters overwhelmingly approved legalizing a safe, quality-controlled and fully regulated cannabis marketplace. Our members accept and are committed to rigorous enforcement and compliance with state law which goes hand-in-hand with safe communities and a successful marketplace. We recognize that not everyone is convinced that cannabis should be legal. We look forward to continuing our state's leadership as an example of how licensed, regulated cannabis businesses are responsible members of Washington's business community that bring value to state and local economies.” - Official Statement (.PDF)

Gold Leaf Farm: The Closest Thing You Can Find to Organic Weed in Seattle - February 22, 2017

"[WACA board member] Brad Douglass, the scientific director for Bellevue's Werc Shop cannabis lab and a proponent of organic cannabis, said Clean Green certification is a good first step for the industry. 'I think what they're doing is good and useful, but it isn't a stand-in for a state regulated or even a federally regulated program,' Douglass said. 'It doesn't have the teeth that a state-regulated program would have.'" - The Stranger

Vashon Velvet Grows on Island Time - February 20, 2017

"While the passage of I-502 greenlit million-dollar investments into major production facilities throughout the state, it also opened doors for scrappy upstarts like Vashon Velvet—the company [WACA board member Susie] Gress founded in 2013 with her daughter, Ivy, and sister, Kay Rice." - Seattle Metropolitan

For Washington’s pot industry, out-of-state owners could supply a lifeline — or invite trouble - February 7, 2017

"[WACA Boardmember] 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." - Seattle Times

Washington State Could Be (and Should Be) the Capital of Pot Research - February 1, 2017

"'On our end, we thought the research license was a critical component of the promise of I-502 [the law that legalized recreational use in Washington State]—a regulated market of safe products that were developed with better quality than what was available in the medical market,' said [WACA Boardmember] Brad Douglass, the scientific director at Bellevue cannabis lab the Werc Shop." - The Stranger

City Inside/Out: Marijuana Lounges - January 27, 2017

Vicki Christophersen, Washington CannaBusiness Executive Director, is featured on Seattle Channel's premier public affairs show discussing the association's support for giving local jurisdictions the opportunity to create regulations allowing for marijuana consumption lounges. Christophersen's interview is featured beginning at the 1:52 minute mark.

Marijuana world: Maybe Attorney General Jeff Sessions won't be so bad - January 17, 2017

[WACA Board-member and Vashon Velvet owner Susie] Gress and her fellow business owners don’t seem too worried about a federal crackdown. Partly because of the cost and resources that would be involved, and partly because voters seem to be moving in the opposite direction. Eight more states including California legalized marijuana in some form in November." - KUOW

Washington CannaBusiness Association Shares 2017 Legislative and Regulatory Agenda - January 17, 2017

WACA priorities focus on increasing capacity for state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board, supporting new business practices for legal marketplace. - Press Release (.PDF)

Private Washington state fund to boost medical cannabis access - December 8, 2016

"Marijuana retailers in Washington state could see an uptick in business thanks to a proposed fund that would help foot the bill for low-income medical marijuana patients.The idea is the brainchild of the 70-member Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA), which hopes to have the fund up and running by spring 2017, according to the News Tribune. The fund is intended to expand patient access to MMJ." - Marijuana Business Daily

Can’t pay for your medical marijuana? A new fund might help - December 6, 2016

"Patients facing a wide array of medical conditions can sometimes get assistance for prescription drugs from pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and charities. That same support system doesn’t exist for medical marijuana. 'Hopefully we can help fill that void until the federal government changes the status of marijuana nationally,' [WACA Executive Director] Christophersen said." - Tacoma News-Tribune

Washington CannaBusiness Association to Launch New Fund for Patient Access - December 6, 2016

WACA also announces Code of Conduct for members establishing association commitments to safety, citizenship and to be good neighbors - Press Release (.PDF)

-- FULL TEXT: Code of Conduct --

The State Wants More Accurate THC Ratings on Pot, But May Be Missing the Main Culprit - December 5, 2016

"Vicki Christophersen, the executive director and registered lobbyist for the Washington Cannabusiness Association, said she was happy to see the state trying to improve their regulations. 'I do know that our companies feel very strongly that it is our role as an industry to prove it,' Christophersen says. 'We are in the prove it phase: proving that we can produce a safe product, proving that we will work hard to keep it out of children. We are sort of on the point of the sword.'" - Seattle Weekly

What's next for weed? - November 30, 2016

"As the industry becomes more established, more of what [WACA Executive Director Vicki Christophersen] hears from business owners has less to do with its unique aspects and more to do with everyday business questions — issues such as finance or human resources. They want to work, and they want the industry to work, she said. 'They are very supportive of and really want to be part of a fully regulated, safe industry that keeps its product away from children, that competes with the black market and provides revenue to the state,' she said. 'They’re committed to that.'" - The Columbian

Move over, booze: 2016 is a milestone year for sales of pot in state - November 18, 2016

"Vicki Christophersen, a lobbyist for the marijuana industry who heads the Washington CannaBusiness Association, said the increasing revenues for marijuana shops show the regulated marketplace is effectively competing against the black market. 'We wouldn’t be selling to that level if we weren’t,' Christophersen said. The price of products on store shelves now, despite the tax, 'are competitive with what we thought the black market was at one point.'" - Tacoma News-Tribune

Lessons in legalization: Washington’s slick pot industry booming - September 30, 2016

"Californians contemplating a future of legal marijuana after election day may want to gaze north, to places like this hip pot spot south of downtown Seattle, to see how radically the landscape has changed in the four years since Washington voters decriminalized recreational weed and the two years since retail sales launched. A thriving, slick-marketed cannabis economy is fronted by boutique ganja shops where green-thumbed bud tenders wander like sommeliers, pontificating on their feel-good goods." - San Francisco Chronicle

WACA member The Goodship Company and board member Vashon Velvet featured in latest Munchies, produced by Vice - August 30, 2016

"The Dankest Cannabis Cupcakes in Washington: Bong Appetit with Cupcake Royale"

 

Using marijuana just got a whole lot safer - August 8, 2016

"On July 1 our state took a big step forward in supporting a safe, quality-controlled and fully regulated cannabis industry by expanding the system created by voters to include the totally unmonitored medical marijuana marketplace." - Editorial by WACA Executive Director Vicki Christophersen published in The Tacoma News-Tribune

Cannabis growers look for clarity on pesticide use - July 6, 2016

"'From the growers’ perspective, they want their products to be safe,' Christophersen said. But in order to ensure safety, they need clear guidelines about what they can use, and how much, she said." - Agri-Pulse (.PDF)

Washington flips the switch on a new medical marijuana system – June 30, 2016

“‘We really don’t know how many dispensaries there were in the state, and how many were legitimate dispensaries and not just fronts,’ said Vicki Christophersen of the Washington CannaBusiness Association, which represents state-licensed marijuana businesses. That was a major reason behind the push to combine the systems." – The Spokesman-Review

WACA Executive Director Vicki Christophersen speaks with KOMO on July 1 expansion of regulated marketplace – June 27, 2016 

“For the first time, all consumers and patients will be protected by the requirements of the law, including product testing and regulatory compliance.” – Audio File

Washington To Take Major Step in Supporting Legal Marijuana – June 27, 2016

WACA, representing licensed marijuana industry, led efforts to support expansion of regulated marketplace – Press Release (.PDF)

Cities, Counties Want Fine-Tuned Rules For Legal Pot Shops And Grow Ops – May 31, 2016

“‘We have to remember where society is,’ [Washington CannaBusiness Executive Director Vicki Christophersen] said. ‘We have to be thoughtful, disciplined and slow in the development of this (industry).’ – The Lens

Washington Takes Action On Pot Pesticide Policy – May 19, 2016

Washington CannaBusiness Association applauds State for adopting action levels for pesticide detection and safety, a key policy priority for the industry association – Press Release (.PDF)

Weed-Like Growth for Washington’s Cannabis Industry – April 26, 2016

“[The] growth also shows that new blood has entered the market, including entrepreneurs. That’s according to Washington CannaBusiness Association Executive Director Vicki Christophersen. The trade association represents licensed and regulated cannabis businesses.” – The Lens

Washington CannaBusiness Association Celebrates Productive 2016 Legislative Session – April 5, 2016

WACA successfully led on the only industry-supported bills to pass in 2016 Session – Press Release (.PDF)

Regulated Cannabis Industry Engages In Steps Toward Pesticide Enforcement – March 22, 2016

WACA calls for specific pesticide regulations to protect public safety, establish action thresholds for product recall and public notice – Press Release (.PDF)

Washington CannaBusiness Association supports legislation that protects safety, privacy of regulated license holders – January 12, 2016

Support for SB 6207, a bill to protect the safety and privacy of individuals applying for or holding an I-502 license issued by the Liquor and Cannabis Board – Press Release (.PDF)

SB 6207 status and bill text

Increase in retail licenses positive step for regulated cannabis marketplace – December 16, 2015

Additional certainty for businesses investing in the regulated cannabis industry by increasing the amount of allowed retail licenses based on a prudent review of the current cannabis marketplace – Press Release (.PDF)

State compliance checks enforce safe marketplace – July 17, 2015

Washington CannaBusiness Association fully supports compliance for a safe, quality-controlled marketplace – Press Release (.PDF)

Licensed cannabis industry applauds Seattle enforcement legislation – July 13, 2015

Local action and enforcement are critical to supporting state laws for a safe, quality-controlled and regulated cannabis marketplace – Press Release (.PDF)

Regulated cannabis industry applauds King County enforcement actions – July 8, 2015

Statement supporting decisive enforcement actions taken by King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and Sheriff John Urquhart – Press Release (.PDF)

Regulated cannabis industry applauds new streamlined tax structure – July 1, 2015

Washington CannaBusiness Association celebrates achieving all key priorities in 2015 Legislative Session – Press Release (.PDF)

Licensed marijuana business owners testify at Seattle council hearing – June 10, 2015

Washington CannaBusiness Association members look forward to local enforcement to support regulated marketplace – Press Release (.PDF)

Pierce County’s ban on licensed pot shops serves only scofflaws – June 4, 2015

“Unless the Pierce County Council lifts its ban on legal marijuana shops, would-be marijuana sellers trying to play by the state’s rules will remain out of luck. And traffickers who flout the rules will continue to flourish.” – Tacoma News Tribune editorial

Regulated cannabis industry voices support for compliance checks – May 20, 2015

Washington CannaBusiness Association fully supports compliance for a safe, quality-controlled marketplace – Press Release (.PDF)

Governor signs law to protect patients, regulate a safe cannabis marketplace – April 24, 2015

Cannabis businesses applaud Governor’s support for Cannabis Patient Protection Act, look forward to a safe, quality-controlled and regulated marketplace – Press Release (.PDF)

Cannabis Patient Protection Act approved by Senate, heading to Governor’s Desk – April 14, 2015

Bipartisan 41-8 Senate vote builds momentum to support a safe, quality-controlled and regulated marketplace for cannabis in Washington State – Press Release (.PDF)

State House overwhelming votes to pass Cannabis Patient Protection Act – April 10, 2015

Bipartisan 60-36 vote builds momentum to support a safe, quality-controlled and regulated marketplace for cannabis in Washington State – Press Release (.PDF)

Critical updates needed in state marijuana laws – March 27, 2015

“Marijuana legalization is one of the biggest shifts in public policy in decades. Washington is a leader. Lawmakers need to act to make sure it doesn’t die on the vine.” – Seattle Times editorial

WACA Member Angela Jayo appears on Inside Olympia – March 26, 2015

Video

WACA Member Tera Martin appears on the BBC to discuss challenges facing the regulated marketplace – March 10, 2015

Video

House Health Care and Wellness Committee Public Hearing – March 5, 2015

Licensed business owners urge lawmakers to endorse a single system that supports safety, quality-control and competition for entire cannabis marketplace – Press Release (PDF)

A second chance to get medical marijuana right – February 20, 2015

“It should be obvious that Washington is not hurting for lack of marijuana. Right now, the Legislature’s priority should be regulating it and keeping it away from minors — which means driving a stake into the heart of the illegal dispensary industry before it metastasizes further.” – Tacoma News Tribune editorial

Cannabis Patient Protection Act passes Senate – February 16, 2015

Overwhelming Senate support for Cannabis Patient Protection Act, bill advances to House – Press Release (.PDF)

Legislative Day – February 3, 2015

I-502 Licensed Businesses Align Behind Cannabis Patient Protection Act – Press Release (.PDF)

Senate Health Care Committee Public Hearing – January 22, 2015

Public Safety, Quality Control and Tax Fairness At Stake for Legalized Cannabis – Press Release (.PDF)

Senate Health Care Committee Public Testimony – Full video (Link to TVW)

The following links feature testimony from WACA members:

  • 1:25:37 – Vicki Christophersen (WACA Executive Director), Eric Cooper (Monkey Grass Farms), Michelle Grogan (Green America)
  • 1:46:00 – Ian Eisenberg (Uncle Ike’s), John Branch (Mello Times), Angela Jayo (Green America)

Cannabis Patient Protection Act – January 7, 2015

Rivers, Hatfield introduce Cannabis Patient Protection Act - Press Release (.PDF)

Professional Association of Licensed Cannabis Businesses Endorses Cannabis Patient Protection Act – Press Release (.PDF)

WACA Media Kit for 2015 Legislative Session – December 4, 2014

An open letter from our executive director, Vicki Christophersen (.PDF)

About Us

What We Stand For (.PDF)

Public Welfare Regulations (.PDF)

Marijuana Poisoning Incidents Spike in Washington State, Reuters (.PDF) — Published November 18, 2014