Planned hunt for pot Easter eggs runs into major buzzkill

MONROE — A hazy area of the law led to the cancellation of a hunt for Easter eggs full of marijuana.

It all started when employees of Green Valley Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary on Highway 203 in unincorporated Snohomish County, publicized the Saturday event on Facebook and Northwest Leaf, a magazine that covers the marijuana industry.

“We were just going to have a party,” said owner Lynn Boyd, 55. “I didn’t give it enough thought.”

But Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Task Force Commander Pat Slack did. He called the dispensary earlier this week, wondering if the planned festivities were legal.

As a law enforcement officer, Slack said, even he’s unclear about the rules. That makes for a challenge in enforcing regulations for medical marijuana and the state’s new recreational pot law.

“In my eyes, if you went to that event and you picked up an egg with marijuana in it that wasn’t from a state-licensed store, you’re committing a crime,” Slack said.

After the conversation, and not wanting any trouble, Boyd canceled the event.

“It wasn’t a bake fest or (to) see how high we can get,” Boyd said. “It was just in fun.”

The festivities were to include a hunt for Easter eggs full of free marijuana and concentrates, including one called “nitro honey oil.” The plan was to put samples of the products, which are intended to be used as medicine, inside the eggs.

Employees also planned to have a “dab bar” where people could inhale the smoke of various marijuana concentrates.

The event was open to people age 18 and older who possess a medical marijuana card, or anyone 21 or older.

Boyd believed the event was legal as long as he kept the people who are not authorized marijuana patients outside the dispensary. He wanted to have the egg hunt outdoors on his 75-acre farm.

Initiative 502, passed in 2012, allows for any adult age 21 or older to legally buy up to one ounce of marijuana products from state-licensed stores. It also permits people to have larger amounts of concentrates and marijuana-infused products.

The passage of I-502 did not affect the state’s medical marijuana law, which gives patients with a prescription for cannabis, and their designated provider, an affirmative defense to criminal prosecution if they possess up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana or 15 plants.

Boyd said the event his employees planned did not give him pause because he has attended other events where adults were smoking marijuana, such as the Cannabis Cup in Everett.

But by allowing anyone age 21 or older into the event instead of only doctor-authorized patients, Boyd mixed medical and recreational marijuana rules. The recreational system requires pot to be purchased from state-licensed sellers.

“I should have slowed down and thought that through,” Boyd said.

Although the egg hunt was a fairly obvious violation of the law, Slack said, law enforcement officers want to respect the wishes of Washington voters who approved recreational and medical marijuana use. But there’s still a lot of gray area in the rules.

“We don’t want to make criminals out of people who aren’t criminals,” Slack said. “The Legislature needs to define these laws so everybody has a clear playing field.”

Lawmakers in Olympia are debating how to merge the state’s medical and recreational marijuana industries, but no bills have made it to the governor’s desk so far this session, which ends in about two weeks.

Meanwhile, Boyd said, he plans to be at his dispensary Saturday to offer apologies, discounts and gas money to people who show up for the egg hunt, not realizing it was canceled. More than 650 people indicated on Facebook that they were planning to attend.

Boyd hopes state and federal lawmakers will make the rules for him and his six employees clear in the future.

“It’s a gray area game,” he said. “We’re trying to be as legit as we can.”

Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; Twitter: @AmyNileReports.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist identified in fatal crash near Lake Stevens

Anthony Palko, 33, died Monday night after colliding with a passenger car. The juveniles in the car were taken to the hospital.

Police: Marysville man shot sword-wielding roommate in self-defense

The roommates were arguing over eBay sales, according to police. Then one of them allegedly brandished a two-foot sword.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Everett boy, 12, identified as Davies Beach drowning victim

Malachi Bell was one of three swimmers in distress Sunday in Lake Stevens. He did not survive.

Port of Everett hosting annual open house after pandemic hiatus

Also, Rustic Cork Wine Bar plans to open a second shop at Fisherman’s Harbor — the latest addition to the port’s “wine walk.”

Mike Kersey with Aiya Moore, daughter of Christina Anderson, right, talk about the condition of Nick’s Place in Everett, Washington on June 17, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘We’re all good people when we get clean and sober’

Who has fentanyl taken from us? A messenger who saved lives. A “street mom.” A grandpa who loved his grandkids “999 trillion times.”

Snohomish County Superior Courthouse in Everett, Washington on February 8, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Bailiff’s comments leads to appeal of child rape conviction

Joseph Hall, of Snohomish, was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison. Now he faces another trial.

Jeffrey Vaughan
In unexpected move, Vaughan resigns from Marysville council

He got re-elected in November. But he and his wife moved to Texas when she received a job promotion.

Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
How to answer Snohomish County’s basic crime questions? ‘Transparent data’

An initiative funded in part by Microsoft could reveal racial disparities, while creating an “apples to apples” database.

Chris Rutland and son Julian buy fireworks from the Big House of Boom stall at Boom City on Thursday, June 30, 2022 in Tulalip, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At Tulalip’s Boom City, fireworks are a family tradition

Generations have grown up at the Fourth of July institution. “Some people make good money, some are just out here for the pastime.”

Most Read