Recreational marijuana market to be tightly regulated to prevent diversion, impact to minors
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Liquor Control Board (Board) today approved the filing of proposed supplemental rules that, if ultimately enacted, will help govern Washington State’s system of producing, processing and retailing recreational marijuana. The Board earlier this summer filed proposed rules on July 3, 2013. The Board chose to revise and re-file its rules after receiving public input at five public hearings across Washington.
“These rules fulfill the public expectation of creating a tightly-regulated and controlled system while providing reasonable access to participation in the market, said Board Chair Sharon Foster. “Importantly, we believe these rules meet the eight federal government enforcement priorities within Thursday’s guidance memo from the Department of Justice.”
The proposed rules provide a heightened level of consumer safety that has not existed previously.
Revisions to the Rules
Below are selected highlights found in the revised rules.
Market Control Limits
On-Site Product Limits
1,000 Foot Buffer Measurement
In addition to the revisions to the rules, the Board today also identified the number and allocation of retail stores. Per Initiative 502, the WSLCB applied a method that allocates retail store locations using Office of Financial Management (OFM) population with a cap on the number of retail stores per county.
Using OFM population data as well as adult consumption data supplied by the state’s marijuana consultant – BOTEC Analysis Corporation — the Board allocated a maximum of 334 outlets statewide. The most populous cities within the county are allocated a proportionate number of stores and at-large stores available to serve other areas of the county.
December 6, 2012 Effective date of new law
September 4, 2013 File Supplemental CR 102 with revised proposed rules
October 9, 2013 Public hearing(s) on proposed rules (time and location TBD)
October 16, 2013 Board adopts or rejects proposed rules (CR 103)
November 16, 2013 Rules become effective
November 18, 2013 Begin accepting applications for all three licenses (30-day window)
December 1, 2013 Deadline for rules to be complete (as mandated by law)
December 18, 2013 30-day window closes for producer, processor and retailer license applications
One or more public hearings on the proposed rules will be scheduled soon. The WSLCB will post the dates and locations on its website at www.liq.wa.gov