Liquor Control Board Approves Filing of Proposed Rules for Pot - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Liquor Control Board Approves Filing of Proposed Rules for Recreational Marijuana

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OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington State Liquor Control Board on Wednesday approves filing of proposed rules to implement Initiative 502. If these rules are enacted they will help govern the state's system of producing, processing, and retailing recreational marijuana.

The board filed proposed rules in July which have since been revised after receiving public input at five public hearings across the state.

The number of retail stores will be allocated by population, with a limit on how many can be situated in each of the state's larger cities.

Benton County: 10 retail outlets
Kennewick: 4
Richland: 3
West Richland 1
At large: 2

Franklin County: 5 retail outlets
Pasco: 4
At large: 1

Kittitas County: 4 retail outlets
Ellensburg: 2
At large: 2

Walla Walla County: 4 retail outlets
Ellensburg: 2
At large: 2

Yakima County: 14 retail outlets
Yakima: 5
Sunnyside: 1
Selah: 1
Grandview: 1
At large: 6


Key Public Safety Elements

Public safety is the top priority of the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

  • 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

The proposed rules provide a heightened level of consumer safety that has not existed previously.

  • 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.

Revisions to the Rules

Below are selected highlights found in the revised rules.

Production Limits

  • Limits the total amount of marijuana to be produced at 40 metric tons
  • Sets the maximum amount of space for marijuana production at two million square feet 

Production Tiers

  • Creates three production tiers based on square footage
    • Tier 1 – less than 2000 square feet
    • Tier 2 – 2000 to 10,000 square feet
    • Tier 3 – 10,000 to 30,000 square feet

Market Control Limits

  • Limited any entity and/or principals within any entity to three producer or processor licenses
  • Limited any principal and or entity to no more than three retail licenses with no multiple location licensee allowed more than 33 percent of the allowed licenses in any county or city

On-Site Product Limits

  • Established the maximum amount of marijuana allowed on a producer licensee's premises at any time based on the type of grow operation (indoor, outdoor, greenhouse)

1,000 Foot Buffer Measurement

  • Changed the way the 1,000 foot buffer is measured from to "along the most direct route over or across established public walks, streets, or other public passageway between the proposed building/business locations to the perimeter of the grounds of the entities listed"

Definitions

  • Added a definition for "plant canopy" to clarify what area is considered in the square footage calculation for marijuana producers
  • Revised the definition of "Public Park" to include parks owned or managed by a metropolitan park district. Clarified that trails are not included in the definition of "Public Park "
  • Revised the definition of "recreation center or facility." Added the language "owned and/or managed by a charitable non-profit organization, city, county, state, or federal government"

Advertising

  • Added language requiring all advertising and labels of useable marijuana and marijuana infused products may not contain any statement or illustration that is false or misleading.

Retail Stores

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.

Timeline

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

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