The Washington State Liquor Control Board approved a revised set of rules on Wednesday that will guide how the state regulates the legal marijuana industry.
“Our initiative told us to have everything in place by December and we will,” said board chair Sharon Foster. She said the rules now head to the state code reviser’s office, and the board expects to begin issuing licenses in about a month.
Retail marijuana stores will likely open in the late winter or early spring, according to board members.
Board member Chris Marr expressed “frustration” at the lack of communication from the U.S. Department of Justice about how the federal government will handle Washington’s marijuana market.
Marr said it amounts to a “failure of leadership that borders on irresponsible.” Marr said that when the federal government finally “shows up at the table,” he believes they’ll approve of the rules Washington has set in place.
The rules make some changes from earlier drafts.
The state will allow outdoor marijuana grows instead of only limiting them to indoors. Speaking in support of the change, Marr said he doesn’t believe an “eight foot cyclone fence is any less secure than a corrugated steel door.”
All marijuana grow sites must meet “strictly controlled on-site security requirements,” according to the rules.
People who rent properties for marijuana-related businesses will no longer have to get signed permission from the landlord. Retail hours will be between 8 a.m. to midnight.
The state is dropping the logo it previously proposed, which showed a green marijuana leaf in the center of the outline of Washington state.
Foster said the state is still working on a design, but she said she wants something that will be immediately identifiable to parents who find an empty wrapper in their child’s possession.
The revised rules call for child-resistant packaging for marijuana sold in solid or liquid forms.
TVW taped the meeting. It will be available online shortly at this link.