Marijuana FAQ - Washington State Cannabis Laws

Everything you need to know about marijuana in Washington State. Approved by majority vote in 2012, I-502 legalized the sale, purchase, and use of marijuana in Washington State for people 21 years of age and older. I-502 also established a system in which marijuana is regulated, taxed, and distributed. We want visitors and residents to be educated on the use and purchase of marijuana and marijuana-infused products so that they can enjoy this new industry in accordance with state and local law.

Marijuana Legalization

How many states have legalized marijuana?

Marijuana legalization went into effect in December 2013, and the first legal marijuana sales in Washington and Spokane were made on July 8, 2014. At the time, Washington was the second state to legalize recreational cannabis. Since 2014, 15 states total have legalized marijuana use.

Pictured: States that have legalized marijuana use

The Basics of Washington Marijuana Law:

In Washington, the recreational and medical marijuana industry is overseen by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. The sale and use of recreational weed mirror that of alcohol and cigarettes. So, when in doubt about the law ask yourself “could I do this with a bottle of liquor?” or “could I do this with a cigarette?”. If the answer is no, then you definitely can’t do it with a joint, pipe, vape pen, or edible.

  • Must be 21+ to purchase, consume or be in possession of marijuana
  • Possession is limited to one ounce of cannabis, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form, or 72 ounces in liquid form
  • It is against the law to open/consume weed or marijuana-infused products in view of the general public. Meaning, you can’t smoke or otherwise consume marijuana in places like public parks, bars or restaurants, parking lots or concerts and other public events
  • Marijuana must be consumed on private property
  • Marijuana must be purchased from a state-licensed retail store
  • It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana if you have more than 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood. Doing so may result in significant legal penalties
  • Homegrown marijuana for recreational use or sale remains illegal
  • You do not need to be a Washington state resident to legally purchase marijuana, however, all marijuana products must be consumed within the state of Washington and cannot be taken across state or international borders

7 Best Dispensaries in Spokane


Pictured: Indica vs Sativa Infographic

Indica vs. Sativa

Whats the difference?

There are two types of cannabis plants that are grown, indica and sativa. The plants differ not only in their chemical makeup but also in the way they look, grow and the way they affect the body.

At the base, the difference between indica and sativa is that indica has higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC and sativa is the opposite—with higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD. This difference impacts the type of high that products derived and created each strain gives. Indica products are known for giving the user a more relaxed feeling, and sativa is known for giving the user a more energetic high. The best thing to do when picking which strain is best for you is to ask a budtender at your chosen retail marijuana store.

The plants also look different. Sativa plants are taller, thinner and have more narrow leaves. They are also typically a lighter shade of green. Indica cannabis plants are typically short, bushy plants and have wide leaves.

Washington State Marijuana Laws FAQ

Is weed legal in Washington?

Yes! Since November of 2012, the sale and possession of recreational marijuana in Washington state have been legal for adults over the age of 21. Along with Colorado, Washington was one of the first states in the US to legalize the use of recreational marijuana.

How much marijuana can I buy in Washington State?

Adults over the age of 21 can purchase and/or possess up to an ounce of marijuana in Washington State. Adults can also possess up to 7 grams of cannabis concentrates or 16 ounces of marijuana edibles.

Can you smoke weed in public in Washington State?

No. Despite marijuana being legal across the state of Washington, the consumption of marijuana products is still illegal in public areas.

What is the legal age to use marijuana in Washington?

You must be 21 years of age to legally purchase or possess marijuana in Washington State.

Where can I smoke weed in Washington State?

You can legally use marijuana in a private residence in Washington, provided the property owner allows it. It is illegal to use marijuana in Washinton State in public view, such as on sidewalks or in public parks.

Where can I buy weed in Spokane?

Here is our choice for the 7 best marijuana dispensaries across the Spokane area.