Washington State voters legalized marijuana more than seven months ago, and on Wednesday the Washington State Liquor Control Board has taken a giant step toward creating a highly regulated marijuana market.
"What happened today was that the board accepted the proposed rules for the implementation of I-502," said Washington State Liquor Control Board Communication Director Mikhail Carpenter.
Carpenter said that public comment, research and advice from law enforcement shaped the rules that will soon govern the grow, distribution, and sale of marijuana.
"The board's goal is to have a highly regulated market to prevent diversion and prevent impact to minors an public safety is our number one concern," said Carpenter.
Public safety elements include on-site security requirements, strict surveillance software to track inventory and tough penalty guidelines. Consumer safety elements are also outlined in the rules; specifically with regard to minors.
"Child proof packaging, strengthen the advertising restrictions to restrict ads that may appeal to youth," said Carpenter.
These rules are expected to be adopted after a final set of public hearings that are scheduled for next month.
"Then we will begin accepting application for marijuana producers, processors and retailers," said Carpenter.
Until then, many are watching to see what comes of all the work being done. The times and dates of the final public hearings have yet to be released.