Washington Marijuana Laws

Updated September 2019

Washington is one of the most progressive states in the nation when it comes to marijuana laws. Washington was one of the first states to pass medical marijuana legislation in 1998, and it’s one of only eight states in which recreational marijuana is legal. Learn more about Washington marijuana laws below.

Recreational Marijuana in Washington

Is marijuana legal in Washington? Yes. On Nov. 6, 2012, Washington voters passed Initiative 502 to legalize the recreational use and sale of marijuana. Under Washington marijuana laws, it is legal for adults ages 21 and older to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, and consume it in private. Adults can also possess up to 16 ounces of solid marijuana infused products, and 72 ounces of liquid marijuana infused products.

Public consumption of marijuana in Washington is a civil infraction, subject to a fine of up to $100. Possession of more than the allowed amounts of marijuana, as well as the sale or distribution of marijuana, is criminal offenses.

Medical Marijuana in Washington

Medical Marijuana in has been legal in Washington since the passing of ballot initiative I-692 on November 3, 1998. Since the law was passed, a variety of updates have been made to the medical marijuana policy, giving patients greater access. Under the law, qualified patients may possess up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana, as well as 15 marijuana plants.

Washington Law approves medical marijuana for the following conditions:

  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Chronic Renal Failure
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C with Debilitating Nausea or Intractable Pain
  • Intractable Pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Washington law also approves medical marijuana for diseases that cause the following symptoms:

  • Appetite Loss
  • Cramping
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Spasticity
  • Wasting

Consumption of CBD Hemp Oil in Washington

Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.

Cultivation and Distribution of Cannabis in Washington

Qualified medical marijuana patients can legally cultivate up to 15 marijuana plants. Although adult use marijuana has been legalized, the law does not allow for personal cultivation. The growing of marijuana for personal use is a class C felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.

The cannabis sold for medical or recreational purposes can only be cultivated by businesses with a license. There are three types of marijuana licenses available in Washington: marijuana producer, marijuana processor, and marijuana retailer. No business may hold all three licenses, and a producer or a processor may not also be a retailer.

Washington has also authorized the growing of hemp for research purposes. In accordance with industrial hemp research pilot and the Washington State Department of Agriculture, growers can apply for a license to grow hemp within the program’s research goals.

Legal Status of Other U.S. States

Stay up to date on the latest state legislation, referendums, and public opinion polls. Our Marijuana Legalization Map allows you to browse the current status of medical and recreational marijuana laws in other U.S. states and territories.


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