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Government and Politics
In 2012, Washington and Colorado voters made history when they approved measures to legalize recreational marijuana. Washington Initiative 502 “authorizes the state liquor board to regulate and tax marijuana for persons twenty-one years of age or older.”Since the vote in Washington, the Liquor Board has written a complex set of rules for the state’s new, legal recreational cannabis marketplace. The agency has also set limits on the amount of marijuana that can be grown. And the Board has begun to license growers, processors and retailers.For now, the Obama administration has signaled it will not interfere with Washington and Colorado’s legal pot experiment, unless there is evidence that legal pot is “leaking” to other states or children are getting access to the legal product. The feds are also watching to see if criminal organizations exploit the legal market.The first marijuana retail stores in Washington opened in July 2014.Recreational marijuana is also set to become legal in Oregon on July 1, 2015 after voters approved Measure 91 in November 2014.

Oregon Hires Top Marijuana Regulator

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Katherine Hitt
/
Flickr

Oregon is gearing up for a year-long process of crafting regulations for recreational marijuana.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission Tuesday hired Tom Burns to lead the agency's implementation of Measure 91, which allows adults in Oregon to grow, possess, and sell marijuana under state regulation.

Burns' previous job involved leading the rollout of medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon.

Burns has his work cut out for him. Recreational marijuana won't be legal in Oregon until next July and recreational marijuana stores won't be operating until January of 2016, but that's still a fairly compressed time period for a governmental agency to develop rules and regulations.

The OLCC says it will soon announce details of a statewide “listening tour” to gather input from Oregonians on how to regulate recreational marijuana.