(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren). In this photo taken June 5, 2014, Even Cox, co-founder of marijuana delivery company Winterlife, poses for a photo in Seattle as an employee packages pot for delivery behind him.
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren). In this photo taken June 5, 2014, Kristie "Parrot" Rodgers, left, packages marijuana for delivery as she works at Winterlife, a marijuana delivery service in Seattle.
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren). In this photo taken June 5, 2014, Michael "Billy the Kid" Kenworthy, drives through Seattle as he makes a marijuana delivery run for Winterlife, a pot delivery service in Seattle.
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren). In this photo taken June 5, 2014, Michael "Billy the Kid" Kenworthy, right, a marijuana delivery driver, greets a customer who identified himself as "Mr.
Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:51 AM EDT2014-07-23 04:51:01 GMT
Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a...More >>
Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a new,...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:46 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:46:40 GMT
After a bruising nine-week runoff campaign, Georgia Republicans will finally have their Senate nominee who will compete against Democrat Michelle Nunn for a seat the GOP can ill afford to lose as the party looks to...More >>
Businessman David Perdue has defeated longtime Rep. Jack Kingston in the Republican runoff for Georgia's U.S. Senate nomination, setting up a matchup against Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn that will help determine...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:15:04 GMT
By The Associated Press Delta Air Lines is canceling all flights to Israel until further notice, citing reports that a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.More >>
By The Associated Press When U.S. and European airlines quickly canceled flights to Israel Tuesday, they showed both a skittishness and a new sense of urgency in dealing with global trouble spots...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:53 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:53:36 GMT
A man believed to have provided the gun used by Boston Marathon bombing suspects to kill a college police officer has been arrested on drug and weapon charges.More >>
A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is believed to have provided the handgun used to kill a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer during the manhunt, people with knowledge of the...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:06 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:06:41 GMT
Firefighters and local authorities are heartened by weather forecasts that call for continued cooler temperatures and higher humidity as they battle a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles...More >>
Firefighters made progress Tuesday in their efforts to get the largest wildfire in Washington state's history under control, with wetter weather bringing some relief but also raising concerns about flash flooding.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:06 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:06:08 GMT
Attorneys for the state of Arizona have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow an execution planned for Wednesday to proceed, saying Joseph Rudolph Wood can't establish he has a First Amendment right to the...More >>
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed an Arizona execution to go forward amid a closely watched First Amendment fight over the secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs in the country.More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:33 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:33:25 GMT
Civil rights leaders at the NAACP annual convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday worried that dwindling African-American turnout in November could lead to the expansion of voter-identification laws that makes it harder...More >>
Civil rights leaders at the NAACP annual convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday worried that dwindling African-American turnout in November could lead to the expansion of voter-identification laws that make it harder for that...More >>
Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:11:21 GMT
In Libya, militias armed with shoulder-launched missiles are battling for control of the country's main airport. In Africa, the entire Sahel region is awash with weapons that include portable air defense...More >>
In Libya, militias armed with shoulder-launched missiles are battling for control of the country's main airport. In Africa, the entire Sahel region is awash with weapons that include portable air defense systems...More >>
Kids (and adults) get plenty dirty during rainy Mud Day at suburban Detroit parkMore >>
Kids (and adults) get plenty dirty during rainy Mud Day at suburban Detroit parkMore >>
By MANUEL VALDES Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) - William "Jackrabbit" Large pulls his SUV onto the side of a downtown Seattle street, parking behind an Amazon Fresh delivery truck and carrying a product the online retailer doesn't offer: marijuana.
The thin, bespectacled Large is a delivery man for Winterlife, a Seattle company that is among a group of new businesses pushing the limits of Washington state's recreational pot industry by offering to bring marijuana to almost any doorstep.
"It's an opportunity that should not be missed," Large says with the kind of fast-talking voice meant for radio.
While delivery services have existed for years to supply medical marijuana patients, the rise of similar businesses geared toward serving recreational users in Washington and Colorado highlights how the industry is outpacing the states' pot laws.
Winterlife's business model is a felony under Washington state law, which allows only the sale of pot grown by licensed producers at licensed retail shops.
Lawmakers should consider changing that, said Alison Holcomb, the author of the 2012 voter initiative that legalized the recreational use of pot, because providing more ways to access marijuana will help push people to the legal pot market.
In Colorado, where marijuana regulations require sales to be done in licensed dispensaries, there's a flourishing market online for marijuana deliveries made in exchange for donations.
The law allows adults over 21 to give one another up to an ounce of marijuana, provided it is done "without remuneration."
The only known case of criminal charges brought against a Colorado delivery service came last year, when the owner of a pot-for-donations service in the Colorado Springs area faced felony distribution charges. He committed suicide before trial.
In Washington, where the legal pot industry kicked off last week, companies like Winterlife jumped into fill demand from consumers for marijuana while the state spent the past 19 months building the regulations and licensing growers and retailers.
Winterlife co-founder Evan Cox, a vegan and bicyclist enthusiast, began by advertising on Craigslist and made deliveries.
Now he has around 50 full and part-time employees, including 25 to 30 delivery personnel in cars and bicycles. Operators field between 400 and 600 calls a day.
"We found a way to really fill the need that the Washington voter said that there is," he says from his company's headquarters, where workers busily sort, cut and package their different marijuana products into branded clear bags.
The Winterlife model is simple. They have a website that features their products - marijuana flowers, edibles and pipes. After making a call, the consumer's phone is relayed to a driver, who then asks them where they want to meet.
Cox is fully aware of the shaky legal ground where he stands.
All of the drivers operate under animal-inspired pseudonyms. There's a jackrabbit, a wombat, a possum, among others.
Cox is also mostly staying within Seattle, where police have tolerated the company's presence and voters in the city made marijuana crimes a low priority for law enforcement years ago.
As the business kept growing, Cox decided to visit an attorney for advice. The company hopes that by checking the identification of its customers and opting not to mail the product it will avoid legal trouble.
Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a spokesman for the Seattle Police Department, said Winterlife is undermining the spirit of the legal marijuana law. So far, he said, the police department has bigger priorities.
But he said the department could change its stance if it receives information about underage sales or other complaints. The department recently seized more than 2,200 plants from a medical marijuana grow that was bothering neighbors.
Minnesota resident Kendra Davis heard from her sister about Winterlife and gave them a call on a recent visit to Seattle. She met Large behind the Amazon delivery truck.
"I figured while I'm here I might as well partake where it's legal," says Davis, who added that she did not start smoking until she was 30. "The kind of high we're looking for is the giggly fun," she tells Large.
Then she buys a handful of truffles and a quarter ounce.
Associated Press writer Kristen Wyatt in Denver contributed to this report.