States around the country continue to pass laws legalizing recreational marijuana use — Washington state did so approximately one year ago.
Now 334 marijuana stores are coming to Washington, selling the drug for recreational use.
They will be allowed to do this through new rules proposed by the Washington Liquor Control Board. It is expected that the new guidelines will be in effect as early as November.
Liquor Control Board member Ruthann Kurose said, “This is just one juncture of many as we move through changes to tweak and improve the system.”
Once a state legalizes marijuana for recreational use, it then must create regulatory guidelines. According to the Seattle Times, each county in Washington will have at least one marijuana store, but more populated areas will have more. For instance, Seattle will have 21 stores.
There will also be regulatory guidelines dictating how marijuana can be grown. According to rules approved by the Washington Liquor Control Board, growing facilities cannot be larger than 30,000 square feet.
Of course, there are also provisions to prevent marijuana-growing monopolies. For instance, one group is not allowed to obtain more than three licenses.
Washington’s marijuana project director, Randy Simmons, pointed out that it can be difficult to draw up effective regulatory guidelines. On one hand, the rules aim to keep communities safe. On the other hand, however, if the laws are too restrictive it could encourage black markets.
What are your thoughts on marijuana legalization, and rules governing the plant? Let us know in the comments section below.