State Liquor Board Getting Pot Advice From Experts

By Steve Jackson

The Washington state liquor control Board is planning on how they can implement the state’s new marijuana law, which allows citizens over the age of 21 to possess up to an ounce of Marijuana for personal use.

The Liquor control board has until December of this year to come up with a plan for how marijuana will be legally distributed in the state.
Board member Chris Marr says the work is similar, but a bit outside of the agency’s normal expertise.

Washington State Liquor Control Board member Chris Marr.Marr: “We know that part of the system that has to do with tax reporting and law enforcement, but consumption and so on are areas that are relatively new to us.”

Marr explains that the state has charged his agency with three aspects of how to set up a sales network for pot:
Marr: “They tried to mirror our three tiered system, with producers, distributors and retail, the state will not operate the stores, they will be operated by private business.”

Marr says his agency has been studying the opinions of many experts behind the scenes for some time now, such as studies by the Rand Corporation on economic impacts of legalized marijuana.
He says local governments have already been asking the board for specifics on how they can restrict sales of legal marijuana:

Marr: “Unlike liquor where counties have the opportunity to adopt a dry county status if you will, that is not the case.

Marr says the myriad of other issues related to legalized marijuana will involve a series of public hearings across the state. He says those could 
begin as soon as later this month.

There is more information on the implementation of Initiative 502 on the Washington Liquor board’s website.

Photo credit: Photo: Washington State Liquor Control Board member Chris Marr. From Washington State Liquor Control Board website.
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