Now that marijuana is legal in Washington state, officials there are working hard to make sure this whole thing goes off without a hitch. That means branding, of course, hence the new green (natch!) label that authorities say will have to adorn every package of legal pot. And of course, it’ll surely make the rounds of music festival-bound vehicles, guitar cases and your teenage neighbor’s car bumper.
Along with that nifty new logo, officials have released their first attempt at rules for the new marijuana industry in Washington, almost eight months after voters legalized pot consumption for adults.
There are about 46 restrictions set out in the preliminary regulations, reports the Associated Press, including a ban on any marijuana extracts like hash. However, if you infuse that hash into another product, that would apparently be okay.
Here are a few of the other relevant bits:
• Authorities are aiming for a “seed to store” outline for the government’s involvement in the whole process.
• There’s likely going to be a cap on the number of retail outlets allowed to sell pot in each county, but when it comes to licensed pot growers or processors, the sky’s the limit. All pot-related businesses will have to include security systems, 24-hour video surveillance and insurance.
• State-licensed stores will have to include the official green label that discloses that marijuana “may be habit forming” and that “this product is unlawful outside of Washington state.”
These rules aren’t just the product of a quick brain-storming session in a room filled with velvety black light posters and lava lamps — the state’s Liquor Control Board has apparently spent a lot of time visiting grow houses and studying the science involved in getting high.
To that end, Sharon Foster, chairwoman of the board, is now known by friends as”the Queen of Weed.”
“They are based upon hundreds of hours of internal research and deliberation, consultation with multiple industry experts and input from the over 3,000 individuals who attended our forums statewide,” she says of the new rules.
This first draft of the rules are basically just a starting point. The public will provide feedback to guide a fresh set of rules, which the Liquor Control Board will debut next month. Then there will be another round of public comment, before sales finally, possibly begin in early 2014. That will depend on whether the Justice Department chooses to sue to block licensing in Washington and Colorado from taking effect.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee is of the mind that everything is going down as it should, so far.
“I’m impressed with the depth and thoughtfulness of their approach and look forward to moving forward,” he said, adding that he hopes any concerns U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has will be allayed by the rules.
“I don’t think you can design a system with much more integrity, as far as tracking the product from the producer to the consumer,” he said. “This plan has a robust system of controls and checks in a variety of ways.”
Wash. state releases draft rules for legal pot [Associated Press]