On Wednesday, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) took on both new emergency and draft rules to start joining the medical marijuana market with the recreational marijuana market. This is a result of the legislation of 2015 and the Cannabis Patient Protection Act which set up a priority system for licensing medical marijuana outlets.
The emergency rules are going to be issued immediately and shall allow the WSLCB to start licensing retail outlets that are capable of distributing cannabis recreationally and medically. Stores that are already set up that do not sell both products may apply for endorsements to sell both.
“If phase one was implementation of the recreational marijuana marketplace then today marks the beginning of phase two – the public process of aligning the medical marijuana system with the existing recreational system,” Board Chair Jane Rushford stated.
The WSLCB will begin accepting applications for licenses on October 12, 2015. This year, different from 2013, there will be no limit on how many retail licenses are approved by the board. Here are some of the guidelines that have been set thus far: “Medical marijuana outlets must be licensed by July 1, 2016, or face closure by local authorities. Non-retail cooperatives may register with the WSLCB after July 1, 2016.”
On Monday, November 9 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the public will be allowed to speak in person on the draft rules during a public hearing in Vancouver.
On another note, the WSLCB is currently notifying existing cannabis farmers that their limit of growing 70% of their own capacity is now gone. This limit had originally been put on to “prevent over-production and diversion of product out of state.”
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