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Marijuana Legalized In WA – What Happens Now? Decision 2012

Decision 2012-Marijuana legalized-what happens now?
(Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Another part in our continuing series “Where Do We Go From Here?”  takes a look at what will-and could happen now that Initiative 502 passed.First, the state will have to begin creating the same infrastructure they had for the state liquor stores.   Privately owned stores will be created, licensed and overseen by the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

The state has already created a website to report the latest information and progress on this matter.   According to the WSLCB (Washington State Liquor Control Board) fact sheet the license process will “mirror” the liquor license process.

One thing is certain, marijuana in the stores could be rather expensive. The new bill will create three new excise taxes that will be tacked onto the price of the drug sold in stores. These new excise taxes will each be 25%, meaning a 75% markup!

One ounce of usable marijuana will be sold to persons over the age of 21,  no one under the age of 21 will be allowed to purchase, or work in the stores.   A variety of other restrictions will apply to the stores.   No timetable has been set for the implementation or creation of the stores, however, it’s believed we will not start to see any real activity until 2013.

Another big question is, will the numerous paraphernalia or “head” shops apply to become sellers through the state?  Newstalk 870 reached out to The Glass Hook, and Pandora’s Box in Tri-Cities.  Phone calls revealed that while it’s being “considered”,  it’s a big fat maybe.   One of the stores said they were mulling the idea of becoming licensed but if they did the drug would probably not be sold in their current paraphernalia stores.   So at least for now the shops we talked to are still waiting, watching, and  undecided on future plans.

Much of that decision rests on the financial resources of the paraphernalia dealer.  It wasn’t “cheap” to buy, own, and operate a liquor store under the old system;  it won’t be any less expensive to run a marijuana store under state control.

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