Washington State Liquor Control Board has just adopted rules to let over 300 retail marijuana stores open their doors across the state. After nearly 11 months of research, negotiations, and heated debates, the WSLCB has announced that applications will be accepted starting November 18th.
There are many issues that had to be ironed out before the state could move forward with the legalization process. One of those issues was how to create a regulated and controlled legal environment, yet eliminate the out of state trafficking and black markets from cropping up.
Under the new rules, there will be up to 334 marijuana stores given licenses across the state – with 21 in Seattle. Medical marijuana dispensaries have until 2015 to obtain a pot business state license or stop doing business. In addition, one person is only allowed to hold 3 licenses, which is the WSLCB's attempt to prevent marijuana monopolies and large corporate out-of-state business from investing too heavily.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board has built a template for the responsible regulation of marijuana, which will be used by other states and countries around the world. It was extremely important that they get it right the first time.