It’s hard not to be silly about it. We’re assuming the same kind of giddy, childish humor was on display at the end of liquor prohibition, too. Thursday, the needs-a-new-name Washington State Liquor Control Board released a timeline and 46 pages of draft rules for licensing, sales and accounting in a nascent recreational marijuana economy. We’ve included the entire draft document and the board’s timeline for implementation, below.
You know things are for real when the graphic designers get involved.
Reaction from entrepreneurs, advocates and opponents is already, um, rolling in.
- “Washington residents and out-of-staters could buy an ounce of tested, labeled marijuana, seven days a week, up to 20 hours a day, in state-regulated stores under draft rules for a new legal-pot system released Thursday by the Liquor Control Board.” — Seattle Times
- “The draft rules call for a ban on retail sales of hash, hash oil, and other concentrates.This means that legal tokers will still need to obtain their hash on the black market or, if they prefer a gray market, obtain a medical cannabis authorization, usually for $75-200.” — The Stranger
- “On taxes, each sale from a grower to a processor to a retailer to a customer-— including those involving middlemen in that chain — will result in a 25 percent tax to the state.” — Crosscut
- “Among the preliminary regulations: They want to track marijuana from ‘seed to store.’ They’d put a cap on the number of retail outlets in each county, but not on the number of licensed pot growers or processors.” — AP
- “Similar to the state’s liquor laws, a point system will be used to gauge whether criminal backgrounds should bar you from growing and selling marijuana; if you have eight points or more on your record, no selling pot.But the liquor board will exempt two misdemeanor convictions of marijuana possession within the last three years.” — Seattle Weekly
The rules govern many fine points of the industry that will come into play when shops are opened in the neighborhood including issues like procedures for disposing of waste. Sorry dumpster divers, “flowers, trim and plant material from any lot of marijuana that fails quality assurance testing required by RCW 69.50.348 must be rendered unusable prior to leaving a licensed processor’s facility.”
As with liquor license applications, marijuana licensing will include public notice giving the community opportunity to lodge any necessary complaints:
Per RCW 69.50.331, the board shall send a notice to cities and counties, and may send a notice to tribal governments or port authorities regarding the marijuana license application. The local authority has twenty days to respond with a recommendation to approve or an objection to the applicant, location, or both.
Meanwhile, kids, consider chemistry:
each lab must employ a Scientific Director responsible to ensure the achievement and maintenance of quality standards of practice
The proposed rules also cover what security will be required at a licensed retail operation:
1) Display of Identification Badge: All employees in licensed premises shall be required to hold and properly display an identification badge issued by the licensed employer at all times while in a licenses premises.
(2) Alarm Systems: At a minimum, each licensed premises must have a security alarm system on all perimeter entry points and perimeter windows. Motion detectors, pressure switches, Duress, Panic and Hold Up alarms may also be utilized.
(3) Surveillance System: At a minimum, a complete video surveillance and recording system for control areas within licensed premises to ensure control of the area. The requirements include image acquisition, video recording, management and monitoring hardware and support systems.
As the draft licensing rules are pounded out, local municipalities are shaping zoning rules for the new stores and production facilities. Capitol Hill’s pot entrepreneurs continue to adapt and position themselves for the next steps. Meanwhile, the spectre of federal intervention continues to lurk. The board plans to begin accepting applications for licenses by September following summer public hearings:
Mid-May Send draft rules to stakeholders for comment
Mid-June Board files CR 102 that includes draft rules for all three licenses
Late-July Public hearing/s on rules for all three licenses
Late-August Rules become effective
September WSLCB begins accepting Producer, Processor and Retail license applications
December 1 WSLCB begins issuing Producer, Processor and Retail licenses to qualified applicants
You can provide feedback via firstname.lastname@example.org. The full draft ruleset, is below.