Update on State Marijuana Rules, Public Hearings

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On July 3 the Washington State Liquor Control Board voted to file proposed rules for implementing I-502, which legalized recreational marijuana in Washington state.

The rules update the initial draft issued on May 16. The Board is planning to hold four public hearings statewide in early August, and vote on final rules on August 14.

A local hearing is scheduled for August 6 at Shoreline Community college, from 6-9 p.m.

Key changes from the May 16 version include:

  • Outdoor growing operations would be allowed, provided views of the area are blocked by a fence at least 8 feet high, and the perimeter is filmed with a  security camera 24 hours a day
  • Retail stores could be open from 8 a.m. to midnight; the earlier draft allowed for 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Definitions were clarified for child care center, library, and transit center (recreational marijuana businesses must be 1,000 feet away under I-502)
  • Establishment of a process for the setting number of retail locations, based on population, in each county, and for the largest cities within each county

If the rules don’t require further revision, licenses could begin being issued for growers and sellers on December 1, leading to retail sales beginning around March of next year.

You can download the rules, summaries, and other documents at the Liquor Control Board rules website, including the proposed rules, FAQ on rules,  rules summary, and the key changes since the May version. A useful FAQ is also available about I-502 issues generally, such as public safety and the role of the federal government.

Comments on the rules can be sent to the Liquor Control Board at rules@liq.wa.gov.