Saturday, September 14, 2013

Washington Regulators Change Marijuana Laws to Appease Feds

The Washington State Liquor Control Board is making a few changes to keep their rules more in-line with federal laws. In particular, they are changing where marijuana retail stores will be allowed to operate. This will protect marijuana businesses and keep Washington on-track to begin issuing licenses at the end of this year.

When they first began to develop rules for legal marijuana, Washington tried to depart slightly from the federal rule that no one is allowed to sell drugs within 1,000 feet of a school. They wanted to allow stores to count the 1,000 feet along the road, instead of "as the crow flies". This would've allowed more marijuana stores to operate; however, now they are changing their minds.

If the federal government plans on enforcing their 1,000 feet rule "as the crow flies", then Washington doesn't want any of their retail stores to get harassed. As such, they are changing the rules to be more reflective of the federal law.

Even with the new rule change, Washington is on track to finalize its rules and start accepting applications for licenses in November. The hope is that the new rules will allow Washington marijuana businesses to operate without fear of federal prosecution. They also wish to calm the federal government's fears about newly legalized marijuana.

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