• Liquor Control Board issues initial draft of recreational pot rules for public comment

    By: Chris Francis


    SEATTLE - It's an interesting read, and an essential one if you want to grow, sell or even buy pot legally.

    Forty-six pages of rules and regulations were published Thursday by the state of Washington and the state wants to hear what the public thinks about their first draft.

    State officials want to track marijuana plants from seed to store, --  just one of the many rules released Thursday. 

    Also outlined in the release was everything from who can apply for a license, how pot is tested and packaged - even the security cameras you need for a pot facility.

    Ben Livingston, an advocate for legalized marijuana, said he believes the rules are well thought out at this early stage.

    "I don't mind the regulation, I would love for them to test their pot, for them to have to make sure it's clean, for me not to be smoking bacteria," Livingston said.

    The state largely based the rules on the recently privatized liquor business. 

    Cory Duffy knows all about that regulation, and as a local distiller, he's had to adjust.

    "In the retail stores, it's been a big change and a learning curve, distributors it's been a learning curve and for us in a growing industry it's sort of been where you fit in with that," he added.

    Thursday's pot regulations are subject to change based on feedback from the marijuana community. The state hopes to have a more concrete set of rules published in June, less than six months before patrons are supposed to legally be able to buy pot.

    Duffy believes the board has their work cut out for them.

    "Things change so fast for them, especially getting into other realms like with the marijuana. I think a lot of the rules are sort of gray and you're not sure where to go with them," said Duffy.

    One example of that is the restrictive limits on where pot growers and distributors can have their businesses. The rules say they need to be 1,000 feet from schools, parks, transit centers, playgrounds and libraries. 

    There will also be a cap on the number of retail stores in each county.

    "It's going to be a real battle for these pot stores to find a place to actually site their businesses, there's almost nowhere that they can do it," Livingston said.

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