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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Draft Pot Rules Do Not Cap Grow Sizes Or Number Of Licenses

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network

Washington’s Liquor Control Board has published 46-pages of proposed rules for the state’s new recreational marijuana market. But the regulations released Thursday are largely silent on two major issues: the number of business licenses that will be allowed and the size of marijuana grow operations.

The draft rules address marijuana producers, processors and retailers. On the production side, the Liquor Control Board proposes to ban outdoor marijuana grows. Pot would have to be grown within a fully enclosed secure indoor facility or greenhouse.

As for the size of grow operations? Alison Holcomb with the ACLU of Washington led the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana. She says two big questions remain: how much pot will be needed to meet demand. And how many grower applicants will meet the detailed qualifications for a license.

“Then they can tackle the issue about how much marijuana they’re going to allow each licensee to produce and process,” says Holcomb.

Applicants for a marijuana business license can have a criminal past under these proposed rules, but no felonies within the past ten years. Prior marijuana misdemeanors would get a pass.

The Liquor Control Board hopes to issue final rules later this summer and actually begin issuing licenses in December.

On the Web:

Initial draft rules for marijuana legalization - Washington Liquor Control Board

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."