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FBI No Background Check for Pot Dealers

 

Marijuana Background Check

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Individuals interested in getting into the marijuana business do not go through background checks. The FBI’s refusal of the checks would apparently complicate the efforts taken by the state to keep criminals our of the legalized business, regulators expressed their concern. Washington state and Colorado became the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in 2012. Although the drug is still considered illegal under federal law.

The FBI which runs the criminal background checks for Colorado’s marijuana business applicants, declined to say why it does not run the same checks for business applicants in Washington state. Although currently, under Washington state law, a felony conviction within the last decade would disqualify a pot business applicant, as would multiple misdemeanors.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board, which regulates the state’s recreational pot industry, is relying on the Washington State Patrol to run background checks on license applicants, and has begun issuing growing and processing licenses despite its own rules requiring licensees to undergo a national criminal background check.

“The federal government has not stated why it has not yet agreed to conduct national background checks on our behalf,” said Brian Smith, spokesman for Washington’s Liquor Control Board in a statement. “However, the Liquor Control Board is ready to deliver fingerprints as soon as U.S. Department of Justice is ready.”

Hilary Bricken, a Seattle-based marijuana business attorney, said the discrepancy may stem from the difference between Colorado’s tightly regulated medical marijuana system and Washington’s comparatively lax medical pot regime. “Colorado has a different relationship with the federal government because it originally started out with strict regulations,” Bricken said.

 
 
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