With Washingtonians eagerly awaiting the opportunity to purchase newly legalized pot, the state Liquor Control Board decided to delay establishing official regulations for licenses that must be obtained for cultivating, processing, or selling recreational cannabis. The rules were supposed to be finalized by the Board this week.
While Washington State voters legalized marijuana last November for adults 21 and up, using cannabis remains a catch-420 situation for residents and visitors alike. Weed in Washington cannot be cultivated legally – except for medicinal purposes – and can only be sold by licensed retail shops that have yet to open.
According to Washington’s legalization law, the rules for growing, processing and selling must be in place by December 1. However, despite the delay, things are still on schedule as the Board plans on having the official rules in place by November 16.
The application process for licenses to grow, distribute or sell pot will begin on Nov 18 (moved from the original date of September 16).
The state held five hearings last week, allowing both the public and government agencies to provide input on how I-502 should be implemented. Some of the issues that came up during the hearings regarded the amount of marijuana that can be legally grown by licensed cultivators, as well as the overall number and locations of permitted cannabis outlets.
The first retail pot stores in Washington are expected to open for business sometime in 2014.