The state appears to have passed the marijuana legalization initiative, but it may be a year before the new law is implemented. The state Liquor Control Board, which is tasked with regulating the industry, released a statement and a fact sheet on Wednesday on the issue. Among the highlights:
- I-502 goes into effect 30 days after the general election. However, the board has until Dec. 1, 2013 to establish rules, and it expects it will “take the full year” to get a framework in place.
- The board will create an application process similar to a liquor license. Marijuana producers, processors and retailers will have to pay a $250 application fee, and a $1,000 yearly renewal fee.
- It’ll cost an estimated $12 for a gram of marijuana, according to the Office of Financial Management (medical marijuana dispensaries charge between $10-15 a gram).
- The liquor control board and OFM will decide how many retail marijuana stores will be allowed to open, taking into account “population, security and safety.”
- The board will get “clarification” from the federal Dept. of Justice in the coming weeks, as well as coordinate with the Washington State Patrol, Dept. of Health and Dept. of Agriculture.
Early voting results show I-502 easily passing with 55 percent of the vote.