Washington marijuana industry racks up dozens of violations - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington marijuana industry racks up dozens of violations

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Since early September there have been 120 violations by marijuana retailers, producers and processors. Since early September there have been 120 violations by marijuana retailers, producers and processors.
SPOKANE, Wash. - Since early September there have been 120 violations by marijuana retailers, producers and processors. The most severe were two separate businesses in Western Washington fined $5,000 for either selling to an unauthorized buyer or failing to maintain traceability on product. But those numbers need context.  

"I have not met one yet." Washington Liquor Control Board Lieutenant Inspector Rob Reynolds says, "Where I thought, 'Oh we are really going to have problems here.'" 

Statewide, a vast majority of violations were failure to submit monthly tax reports and in most cases only verbal warnings were given.

Currently there are nine licensed retailers in Spokane County and 50 licensed producers. Of the nine, there has been only one violation. The one retail case in Spokane County Reynolds remembers was simply that the retailer didn't know how to report the taxes and a verbal warning was given. Reynolds inspects retail marijuana shops in Spokane County and makes sure they are compliant. For the most part "they are all working hard to do it right." Reynolds says. 

Retailers like Eric Skarr say that constantly changing rules and regulations can make it difficult at times to stay compliant. "It does make it difficult, it can be an added burden at times. But really, for the most part we are just happy to be in business." Skarr is the manager at Sativa Sisters in Spokane Valley. His shop is among the majority in Spokane County that have not received any violations since it opening.

For now Reynolds says his focus is more education rather than fines first. "We are doing a lot of education first. We want voluntary compliance." Reynolds says that its an evolving industry and hiccups in compliance were expected. "Its a moving target. It's kind of like building a car while driving it."

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