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WA Officials Release Timeline for Implementing State Pot System, Sales Bumped Back

WA timeline for pot stores bumped back to next spring
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Instead of being to light up marijuana purchased in a state store December 1st,  it won’t be at least until next spring.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board has finally released an official timeline for implementing the state-run marijuana system.

  • Mid May: Send draft rules to *stakeholders* for comment
  • Mid June: Draft rules will be filed for marijuana producer, processor and retailer licenses. Comment will then be sought from the public.
  • Late July:  Public hearings to gather more public comments on the draft language.
  • August: Rules become effective
  • September:  WA State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) will begin to accept applications for producers (growers), processors (those will prepare the pot) and retailers (those who want to operate a state-run store – much like the people who owned liquor stores under the old state system.
  • December 1:  Rules are complete, state will begin to issue producer, processor and retailer licenses to qualified applicants.

*Stakeholders* are people or organizations involved in the process of legalization.  Simply, those who have a vested financial investment in the project, whether lobbying money, businesses who have declared they wish to financially participate in the process, and others.  They include, the ACLU, Cannabis Defense Coalition, and others.   It also includes those who have notified the state they intend to seek a license to grow, produce or retail marijuana.

All the while, as the state drags out this process to nearly twice it’s original timeline,  the underground illegal marijuana industry not only continues to thrive, but can now prepare itself for ways to counter the state-run system.   Critics fear due to the excessive bureaucracy and high taxes that come with state-run businesses the illegal marijuana market will undercut the state.   It could lead to an eventual failure of the system to operate as it was intended.


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