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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.

Washington Liquor Board Adds Cannabis To Its Name

Washington State Liquor Control Board
Washington state's Liquor Control Board will be re-named the Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Washington’s Liquor Control Board is getting a new name. Friday it will become the Liquor and Cannabis Board.

The change comes as the state moves to regulate medical marijuana, as well as recreational pot.

The initials of the Liquor Control Board didn’t have to change. It’s still the LCB. But now the C stands for Cannabis. The new agency logo shows the state seal featuring George Washington and the words Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Perhaps the juxtaposition of the nation’s first president and the word cannabis isn’t so odd. According to High Times, President Washington grew hemp and might have even used it to ease his toothaches.

Other changes will come later this year or early next as recreational marijuana stores in Washington are allowed to apply for an endorsement to sell to patients. Also, some existing marijuana dispensaries will have the opportunity to apply for a state license to remain open.

The big change comes next July when a ban on collective gardens kicks in.

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."