Liquor Control Board approves rules governing marijuana market

Published on Wed, Sep 4, 2013 by Ian Ferguson

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Shortly after an announcement from the Department of Justice giving the green light to state marijuana laws in Washington and Colorado, the Washington State Liquor Control Board has approved the filing of supplemental rules aimed at governing a system of producing, processing and retailing recreational marijuana.

The board proposed the rules earlier this summer, but chose to revise and re-file the rules after receiving input at five public hearings across Washington.

“These rules fulfill the public expectation of creating a tightly-regulated and controlled system while providing reasonable access to participation in the market,” said board chair Sharon Foster. “Importantly, we believe these rules meet the eight federal government enforcement priorities within Thursday’s guidance memo from the Department of Justice.”

The rules include public safety elements and consumer safety elements. For example, all growing operations will have to meet strictly controlled on-site security requirements, with surveillance and transportation requirements, robust software to track inventory from start to sale, criminal background checks on all license applicants and tough penalty guidelines. Advertising will be restricted so as not to target children. Labels will include dosage information and warnings, and packaging will be child-resistant. Only lab-tested and approved products will be available, and only in well-defined serving sizes and packaging limits.

Some notable revisions added to the rules include a statewide production limit set at 40 metric tons, statewide space for marijuana production capped at 2 million feet and a limit of three producer or processor licenses to any entity or principals within any entity.

More details about the rules and revisions can be found on our blog at