New timeline for WSLCB recreational marijuana draft rules

Yesterday, June 10, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) in Olympia released
the following dates for filing its recreational marijuana draft rules:

June 19, 2013 – Board work session on proposed rules.
July 3, 2013 – Board files official draft rules (CR 102) with the state Code Reviser.
August 7, 2013 – Public hearing on draft rules.
August 14, 2013 – Board adopts rules.
September 14, 2013 – Effective date for rules, and
September 14, 2013 – WSLCB begins accepting applications for all license types.

Until now, the WSLCB would not list specific dates; rather, the previous timeline merely addressed milestones for forming the draft’s rules as falling early, middle, or late in the last of the summer months.  The draft itself is designed to cover all aspects of legal marijuana entrepreneurship: it outlines the prerequisites for obtaining a license to grow commercially, the level of security expected for marijuana retail businesses, the type of photo ID’s marijuana stores will accept, and even how to properly handle cannabis-plant composting.  Needless to say, the WSLCB has a myriad of factors to consider, and the future of the industry depends on the decisions made in the coming months.

The draft’s first cut of rules was released on May 16, 2013, and the period of public input terminated yesterday with the release of the new timeline. According to the agency, they have received substantial written input from both public and private organizations, demonstrating the future marijuana industry’s concern with the draft’s development.

WSLCB Director Rick Garza says, according to a recent WSLCB email announcement,

“In keeping with our goal of an open and transparent process for drafting the rules, we’re going to take an additional two weeks to consider the last-minute input we’ve received.  The Board was prepared to issue the rules on June 19; however, it’s our responsibility to carefully review and consider the comments we received.”

The WSLCB, alongside the state of Colorado, must now look to the future when continuing further with the draft, as the rules they design will govern the world’s only fully-functional, fully-legal system of growing, processing, and retailing recreational marijuana.

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