Washington: Exploding Bottles of Marijuana Soda Removed From Shops


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Legal Pomegranate marijuana-infused soda has more bang for the buck than its manufacturers and distributors realized. The drink has been removed from three Washington marijuana stores after bottles started exploding on the shelves.

Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham took delivery of 330 bottles of the soda on September 28; employees said they were excited to promote it to their customers, reports Matt Markovich at KOMO News. They sold 10 bottles of the soda, made by Mirth Provisions of Longview, on the first day.

But when employees opened up the following day, they found broken bottles and shards of glass throughout the store. During the night, the bottles had begun to explode. The employees said they didn't realize just how dangerous was the situation until they saw and heard bottles randomly blow up.

"It sounded like a shotgun going off," said Top Shelf Cannabis manager Zach Henifin. "You can actually feel it; it was that explosive."

Henifin donned a face shield and protective garb and placed cartons of the unexploded soda in a dumpster-sized steel box outside the store. The "pot pop" continued to explode, inside the steel container, for the next 10 days.

"It's almost like a bomb box because they randomly go off during the day," Henifin said.

Washington: Federal Judge Dismisses State Marijuana Tax Case


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A federal judge has dismissed a Washington lawsuit challenging the state's authority to tax marijuana.

The case was dismissed last week by U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman for lack of jurisdication, reports the Associated Press.

Martin Nickerson, who operates the Northern Cross Collective Gardens medical marijuana dispensary in Bellingham, sued because at the same time he was being prosecuted for marijuana distribution, he was also targeted by the state Revenue Department for not collecting taxes on cannabis sales.

Nickerson had argued that he couldn't pay the tax without incriminating himself, violating his Fifth Amendment rights. His suit named Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson and state tax chief Carol Nelson, reports CBS Seattle.

His complaint argued that the state could not "grant authority to local and county government to authorize licensing and collect taxes on an activity that is a crime" under federal law.

Nickerson's medical marijuana dispensary, Northern Cross Collective, opened in April 2011. He argued that he should be protected from tax liens and other legal actions as he defends himself from federal criminal charges stemming from raids on his property and home in March 2012.

Washington: First Recreational Marijuana Edibles Sold Legally


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The very first edible recreational marijuana products are now being sold legally in Washington state, a month after cannabis itself went on sale in state-licensed stores.

Due to strict regulations from the Washington State Liquor Control Board, no kitchens had been approved for producing marijuana edibles last month when cannabis sales began on July 8.

Al Olson, the marijuana editor at, bought the first approved edibles in Bellingham, Washington, at a store called Top Shelf Cannabis, reports Katy Steinmetz at Time. Olson bought about $200 on Green Chief "Crazy Carnival Nuts," "420 Party Mix," and "Twisted Trail Mix," as well as on a vaporizer pen and vape pen battery.

The marijuana-infused nut clusters, trail mix and party mix cost around $25 per bag.

Top Shelf opened at 10 p.m. on Wednesday in order to be the first store to sell the products, owner John Evich said, reports Trevor Hughes at USA Today. "It's something interesting and fun," Evich said. "Going down a list of menu items -- I think it's something new for people."

Washington: Man Tries To Shoot Marijuana Into Jail Using Arrow


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Washington state man is accused of trying to get marijuana into a county jail by attaching it to an arrow he shot onto the roof of the facility.

An employee of the Whatcom County Sheriff's Department saw the man get out of his pickup truck Tuesday morning and use a bow to launch the arrow toward the second-floor recreation area atop the jail, but he missed his target, reports Barry Leibowitz at CBS News.

The marijuana was reportedly wrapped in a plastic bag taped to the center of the arrow.

The man, identified as David Wayne Jordan, 36, was arrested for investigation of introducing contraband into the jail, resisting arrest and obstructing law enforcement, said Sheriff Bill Elfo.

Jordan reportedly served 20 days in the jail earlier this month for assault and resisting arrest, according to the Bellingham Herald.

The sheriff said Jordan told deputies he'd been aiming the arrow at a squirrel, but had no explanation why he attached cannabis to the arrow to go squirrel hunting.

(Photo: CBS Seattle)

Washington: Medical Marijuana Advocates Take Bellingham To Court Again


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new lawsuit has been filed against the City of Bellingham, Washington by the Seattle-based medical marijuana advocacy group Cannabis Action Coalition, setting the stage for another battle over the legality of medicinal cannabis dispensaries.

The lawsuit, filed on July 15, challenges the Bellingham City council's unanimous July 1 vote to impose interim zoning restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries by means of an "emergency" ordinance, reports John Stark at The Bellingham Herald.

One of those signing the lawsuit, filed in Whatcom County Superior Court, is Martin Nickerson, operator of the Northern Cross Collective downtown. Nickerson and two of his employees were arrested in March 2012, and are facing a November 12, 2013 criminal trial on several felony counts for alleged possession and sale of marijuana.

Nickerson and his lawyers have filed two previous lawsuits challenging the city's actions.

Five days after police raided Northern Cross in 2012, attorneys representing Northern Cross sought an injunction to block the city taking further action. Nickerson and his employees had gone to great lengths to keep the collective's activities within state law, according to the attorneys.

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