Yesterday, Washington finalized the rules that will regulate the sale of recreational marijuana throughout the state. The Liquor Control Board outlined the regulations following a year of research, debate, and hearings. The result is a system very similar to Colorado’s. It requires seed to sale tracking, child resistant packaging, quality control testing done by a third party, and other safeguards. The regulations also require background checks for potential storeowners, a ban on out of state funding, and prohibit anyone from holding more than three store licenses. Beginning November 18, the Liquor Control Board will accept applications for the 334 licenses available throughout the state of Washington.
The pressure on the Liquor Control Board is high as many state legislatures view Washington and Colorado as tests for the possibility of a tax and regulate policy in their own states. Key players in finalizing the rules commented to USA Today:
"We feel very proud of what we're doing," said Sharon Foster, chairwoman of the Washington Liquor Control Board, as she and her two colleagues approved the rules. "We are making history."
"What the Liquor Control Board has done is build a template for the responsible regulation of marijuana," said Alison Holcomb, the Seattle lawyer who drafted Washington's marijuana initiative. "This is a template that is going to be reviewed by other states, and already is being reviewed by other countries."