Wash. Liquor Board Has One Year To Catch Up To Pot Legalization

Dec 4, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Pot becomes legal in Washington on Thursday. But state officials have not even begun to write the complicated rules for who can grow it, process it and sell. That year-long process begins Wednesday.

By the end of this week, adult possession of up to one ounce of usable marijuana will no longer be a crime in Washington. But Initiative 502 -- approved by voters in November -- does much more than decriminalize possession. It requires the state to license and regulate marijuana producers, processors and retailers.

That’s not something that can happen overnight. In fact, the initiative gives the state of Washington until December of next year to put in place the regulations. In government lingo that lengthy process is called rulemaking.

The Washington Liquor Control Board will take the first step this week. It plans to issue a formal notice to stakeholders that the agency will begin to write the rules for people who want to grow marijuana. The regulations for processors and sellers will come later.

On the Web:

I-502 Implementation (Washington State Liquor Control Board)