| Posted on Fri, June, 28th 2013 by THCFinder
A little over a month ago, the Washington State Liquor Control Board released an initial draft of the regulations and restrictions that will govern the newly legal marijuana industry in Washington State.
Under Initiative 502, the initiative legalizing the use of marijuana for recreational use by adults, which was passed by Washington voters last November, the Washington State Liquor Control Board is responsible for establishing the requirements and restrictions for licensing, regulation and taxation of the marijuana industry.
The law specifically grants the WSLCB the ability to impose regulatory guidelines regarding issues such as, the facilities and equipment used in marijuana production, the packaging and labeling standards for retail sale, the potency and quality levels of the marijuana and finally the security and screening requirements for employees and licensees. Under the law, by December 1, 2013, the Liquor Control Board is required to specifically implement protocols and processes for license application and renewal for marijuana producers and retailers, determine a limit for the amount of licensed retailers and determining the maximum quantity of marijuana, marijuana facilities may have on the premises at a given time. With the release of this first draft on marijuana industry regulations, the process of determining and implementing an administrative regime to manage the newly formed marijuana industry is beginning to take shape.
The regulations were subject to a public comment period, which ended on June 10, that allowed Washingtonians to voice their concerns or recommendation for the guidelines. The board plans to file its revised rules on July 3 and a public hearing on the changes to the regulations will be held on August 7. According to the proposed time line released by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, the Board will begin accepting applications for all license types, related to the marijuana industry, by September 14.
The regulations released by the WSLCB seek to track marijuana from “seed to sale,” as to prevent diversion of legally produced marijuana into the illegal market within and outside Washington State. According to Bloomberg News, Mark Kleiman, a public policy professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has consulted Washington policy-makers on marijuana issues, stated that “the rule that the state can’t require the retailer to keep records of their purchasers seemed to encourage purchase for out of state shipment...The Washington statute, [seed to sale tracking], was designed to keep the whole matter in-state and the board is certainly very concerned about that.”
The Board has additionally adopted a point-based system to determine if applicants seeking licensure for participation in the marijuana industry, as growers distributors or retailers, are eligible based on their previous criminal history. The point system ascribes point values to various criminal offenses--any applicant seeking a marijuana license, must not have accrued more than 8 points based on the scale established by the Board. The current system allows for up to two marijuana possession misdemeanors to be waived from consideration. Certain Federal marijuana charges may be ignored on a case-by-case basis, and the system would apply to all entrepreneurs, employees and financiers.