Creating Marijuana Rules Takes Time

Apr 17, 2013

It may take longer than anticipated for the Washington state Liquor Control Board to issue licenses to people who want to grow and process marijuana legally.

Licenses to grow and process marijuana will be available December 1.
Credit United States Fish and Wildlife Service

The LCB Wednesday finalized the tentative timeline, and expected deadlines were shifted by several months. Licenses to grow and process pot will be available December 1, and legal marijuana sales won’t begin until sometime next spring.

The state isn’t the only entity facing big questions and decisions about pot. The city of Seattle is fielding lots of questions about marijuana law enforcement.

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes says the interest isn’t just in the U.S. He recently flew to Copenhagen to speak to European government leaders about the issue.

“The fact that at the Copenhagen City Hall, the large conference room was just packed with people from all over Europe shows how much interest there is—the change in government policy—not just in regard to marijuana, but the way we use our law enforcement resources and whether or not you treat something as a public safety issue or a public health issue rather than criminalizing it," Holmes says. "It’s something that we have broken through, if you will, and gotten people to start debating this openly, and it’s an exciting time."

Holmes says until the Liquor Control Board implements it's guidelines regarding the marijuana supply system, he and other law enforcement agencies will probably step back from prosecuting most marijuana crimes.

Copyright 2013 KUOW