OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington State Liquor Control Board has approved the proposed rules to help govern Washington state's new marijuana laws.
The 42-page, single spaced document outlines the state's plan for producing, processing and retailing recreational marijuana.
"Public safety is our top priority," said Board Chair Sharon Foster. "These rules fulfill the public expectation of creating a tightly-regulated and controlled system while providing reasonable access to participation in the market."
The following are some highlights of the new laws.
Key Public Safety Elements
· All grows must meet strictly controlled on-site security requirements;
· Strict surveillance and transportation requirements;
· Robust traceability software system that will track inventory from start to sale;
· Criminal background checks on all license applicants;
· Tough penalty guidelines for public safety violations including loss of license;
· Restricting certain advertising that may be targeted at children.
Key Consumer Safety Elements
· Packaging and label requirements including dosage and warnings;
· Child-resistant packaging for marijuana in solid and liquid forms;
· Only lab tested and approved products will be available;
· Defined serving sizes and package limits on marijuana in solid form;
· Store signage requirements to educate customers.
The timeline for the marijuana rules and regulations is as follows.
August 6-8, 2013 - Public hearings on proposed rules, tentatively scheduled in Olympia, Seattle-area, Ellensburg, and Spokane.
August 14, 2013 - Rules adopted
September 16, 2013 - Rules become effective
September 16, 2013 - Begin accepting applications for all three licenses (30-day window)
December 1, 2013 - Rules are complete (as mandated by law)
Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014 - Begin issuing producer, processor and retailer licenses
The foundation for the rule-making began soon after the November 2012 passage of Initiative 502. The Board held eight public forums statewide that drew over 3,000 attendees, 11 internal teams performed staff work ranging from research to policy recommendations, and individual board members and staff presented at dozens of public and trade events to listen and communicate status.
Most recently, on May 16, the Board publicly issued its initial draft seeking comment by June 10, 2013. Board members say they received positive responses from the community about the first draft, followed by quality input from local governments, law enforcement, industry members, the prevention community and many others.
For a series of summary documents including the proposed rule highlights and answers to frequently asked questions, click here. www.liq.wa.gov