Washington’s legalization of marijuana under Initiative 502 has dominated my assignment requests this year.
I am so grateful for wonderful clients like Northwest Leaf, The Daily Telegraph of London, Barcroft Media, The UK Sun, and Seattle Weekly, that have commissioned or licensed marijuana work this year! A whole lot of dramatic changes are still to come, like the new recreational pot stores opening, new big businesses popping up, and the impact of all this on the community and the alike. Washington, alongside Colorado, are going to be the battlegrounds for a radical paradigm shift, and I hope to have an opportunity to document it as much as I did this incredible year.
A marijuana strain called Mexican Sunrise is seen at a medical marijuana patient’s home in Snohomish County, Wash February 7, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
Ryan Barker of Modus Vivendi works to weigh out some Maui Wowi strain marijuana for a patient during the grand opening of the Rainier Beach location of the NW Cannabis Market Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 in Seattle. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
A worker at a Spokane, Wash. medical marijuana access point February 15, 2013. Ten access points have sprouted up across downtown Spokane in the past year after Drug Enforcement Administration officials shuttered more than three dozen collectives a few years ago — citing proximity to schools and parks. Today, the collectives share a friendly but competitive spirit, and patients can avoid the dire alternative: returning to the unsafe streets to acquire their medicine on the black market. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
Northwest Patient Resource Center co-owner Jake Dimmock walks through one of the on-site marijuana gardens which provide medicine for their patients, May 9, 2013. NWPRC hopes to be one of the brand name dispensaries to enter the recreational market, and they have purchased multiple locations suitable under the new laws. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
Ladarius Freeman, 23, from Atlanta, does a French inhale while smoking a marijuana blunt during the Cannabis Freedom March Saturday May 11, 2013 in Seattle. “I like it here, it’s so out in the open — I can be myself,” Freeman said. “And the weed is good and cheap, I’m used to $20 a gram.” Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox showed his support for Diego Pellicer CEO Jamen Shively, center, at a news conference announcing the company’s plans for dozens of branded legal marijuana stores across Washington state and Colorado Thursday May 30, 2013 in Seattle. Said Shively, “Our group will be investing in the hundreds of millions of dollars in this industry.” Diego Pellicer, Inc. has acquired local dispensary Northwest Patient Resource Center, co-founder John Davis said at the conference. Shively stated the company would become the world leader in adult-use and medical marijuana. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
A medical marijuana patient offers up a hit of a joint at a marijuana farmers market called MMJ Universe in Black Diamond, Wash., a little less than an hour southeast of Seattle, June 2, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
State troopers stand guard as marijuana users and medical marijuana patients protest at the Washington state capitol June 19, 2013 against proposed changes to the medical laws under Initiative 502 that they say would harm their access and ability to use the medicine that works for them. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
One of three 36-foot-long marijuana grow tents maintained by Joe Parker of Port Angeles, Wash, on the state’s Northwest peninsula August 2, 2013. He grows the marijuana for medical patients currently and said he wants to focus on their needs first. Parker said the area’s wetness and humidity help his plants grow strong and developed. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
Joe Parker inspects marijuana hanging to dry in his home garage in Port Angeles, Wash, on the state’s Northwest peninsula August 2, 2013. He grows the marijuana for medical patients currently and said he wants to focus on their needs first. Parker said the area’s wetness and humidity help his plants grow strong and developed. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
Yanni, Kevin, Mike, Montana and Jeremy Moberg work to trim marijuana ready for harvesting at a site owned by grower Moberg in Okanogan County, Wash. not far from the Canadian border, Sept. 18, 2013. Temperatures often rise to 90 degrees in the sunny domain of Eastern Washington. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
“It’s heaven to wake up out here,” said Keif Shrefler, 30, a marijuana grower in Vancouver, Wash. who lives in a tent under the same canopy as the plants he tends at the home of grower Tom Lauerman. A former law student, Shrefler said smoking each morning “first thing,” leaves him with a clear energy that inspires getting right back to work alongside a handful of other dedicated volunteers on the 5-acre farm. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
Edward Barnes of Keep Calm And Medicate Shirts, arrived in town just one day prior to the start of Seattle Hempfest, after moving from Detroit. “These three days are going to be a marathon,” Barnes said, noting he has vended the shirt line at the two-day Denver and San Francisco Cannabis Cups previously. Photo by Daniel Berman/bermanphotos.com
Seattle Police Department Spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb helps hand out bags of Doritos along with information on marijuana legalization measure Initiative 502 to attendees on day two of Seattle Hempfest Saturday August 17, 2013 in Myrtle Edwards Park. The recreational use of marijuana for those over 21 was legalized by Initiative 502 in December 2012. Public consumption of marijuana remains illegal under I-502. Seattle Hempfest is hailed as the world’s largest marijuana “protestival” and organizers expect to attract more than 300,000 visitors to the park during the three-day weekend. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
“They’re setting back years of traction in proving marijuana has medicinal uses by designating it as an intoxicants,” said Michael Dare, a patient of five years, during a protest at Seattle City Hall before a public comment hearing Tuesday Oct. 8, 2013 by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which will take over regulating medical marijuana in the state. “I’m concerned that the marijuana that only really helps those in pain, the stuff high in CBD, will not be available,” Dare said of the state’s plans for new legal, recreational marijuana stores. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
Attendees at the $650-per-ticket 2nd Annual National Marijuana Conference and Expo Wednesday Nov. 6, 2013 at Emerald Downs in Auburn. The three-day event attracted marijuana investors and business entrepreneurs from across the country to a area horse track hosting the conference. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
Washington state Liquor Control Board member Chris Marr indicates that time is running out for a patient’s testimony during a hearing for public comment on proposed changes to medical marijuana law under Initiative 502, Wednesday Nov. 13, 2013 at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
A large communal joint was passed around during a Legalization Day celebration marking the first anniversary of marijuana legalization under Initiative 502 at Seattle Center Friday Dec. 6, 2013. Adults over the age of 21 may now possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and stores to purchase the recreational pot are expected to open Spring 2014. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
Chris Padron,22, of Seattle, smokes from his pipe during a Legalization Day celebration marking the first anniversary of marijuana legalization under Initiative 502 at Seattle Center Friday Dec. 6, 2013. Adults over the age of 21 may now possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and stores to purchase the recreational pot are expected to open Spring 2014. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com
Thanks to all my friends and colleagues for their continuing support of my work on this story.
Onward and upward in 2014!