Washington State To Begin Accepting Applications In November From Marijuana Retailers

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 16, 2013

    Washington state regulators today finalized rules to govern the state’s nascent marijuana retail market. Beginning on November 18, regulators will begin formally accepting applications from those seeking state licenses to commercially produce, process, and sell cannabis to those age 21 and over. A press release regarding the state’s forthcoming rules and the application process is available here.

    Under an initiative (I-502) enacted by voters in November, the adult possession of limited quantities of non-medical marijuana — as well as the state-licensed production and sale of cannabis — is not subject to criminal penalty. Voters in Colorado approved a similar measure in November authorizing state-licensed marijuana production and retail sales. Colorado state regulators began accepting applications from would-be marijuana producers and retailers earlier this month.

    In an August memorandum, Deputy Attorney General Cole directed the US Attorneys in all 50 states, including Colorado, not to interfere with the implementation of state marijuana regulations unless such activities specifically undermined eight explicit federal law enforcement priorities.

    Both Colorado and Washington are anticipated to have licensed marijuana retail outlets operational by early next year.

    19 Responses to “Washington State To Begin Accepting Applications In November From Marijuana Retailers”

    1. Michael lr says:

      Pennsylvania, the great state that needs some fixing, what else can we do to speed up the process of us becoming MMJ legal. I have written the politicians,what now?
      Michael lr

    2. David Aquarius says:

      As a resident of WA, I too look forward to the opening of legal sales of weed. It’s been a long time coming and I’m proud my state was one of the first to crack the dam of prohibition. However…(you knew that was coming!) there are still a lot of wrinkles in the new law.

      The rules are being written by people who do not or would not smoke pot. Many of them are doing this under a bit of duress as they personally opposed the passing of the law. True, they’re committed to serving the will of the voters and they’ve tried to include input from activists and patients but, in the end, the final decisions will be made by these people.

      As mentioned taxation is out of control. One of the arguments proponents of I-502 put forward was the windfall of revenue the state will take in upon legalization. The intent was to get that revenue by a moderate tax on an abundance of sales but instead we have a abundance of tax on moderate sales. What good is that if your product is priced out of the market?

      Pot Tourists are welcome but again the devil is in the details. The state made sure not to restrict sales to residents only so visitors can spend lots of $$$ on MJ. However…(again) where are you going to smoke it? They recently came out against smoke clubs and vaping parlors; hotels and other businesses have no smoking rules and, of course, no consumption in public. Smokers were given a pass at Hempfest but that’s over now. There will be tickets given out, I guarantee it. And the big NO NO is smoking in a National Park or Forest. That’s the Fed’s domain and they’re hot to bust.

      Washington state has a lot of bugs to work out of their system. The status of medical marijuana is a shambles and lots of patients are feeling betrayed. Home grows are still verboten which pushes everybody to either the new stores or the black market (see taxation above). I find it very frustrating that these issues weren’t dealt within the law itself but that’s history. We can only hope that this grand experiment doesn’t fall flat before it has the chance to flourish. Some activists plan on sponsoring legislation to deal with these issues but WA state politics is at best a zoo and at worse a sewer.

      Colorado is a bit ahead of the game but even they are having some fits.

      So bottom line, everyone take note of our success and our failures. When working for that magic law that will allow you to spark a fatty on your front porch without fear of arrest, make sure you’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s.

      The war ain’t over ’til I can FedEx my buddy in NY an ounce of my latest strain and no one cares.

    3. Rich Kafel says:

      Where are all the petitions at in Cleveland, ohio, i’m disable they should go door to door with them petitions, i’m sure they would get more names going door to door

    4. Richard Vert says:

      I’ll get excited after it’s survived a republican white house.

    5. TheOracle says:

      Nice the read I’m not off base about PA.

      Thanks for bringing me up to speed on Washington. I’m thinking Pennsylvania should not privatize its liquor system and get rid of those good state jobs that after the pre-employment physicals have no need to give folks a pop piss test for private sector ones that could and that don’t pay as well. Too damn much outsourcing going on. State might as well just raise the taxes on booze and public deals with that instead of paying more for the profits to the private sector profiteers. I really don’t care that much, I guess, if the state privatizes booze. I rarely consume alcohol. My concern is that Pennsylvnia legalizes cannabis, that a positive test is not enough to get you fired, drivers license revoked, professional license revoked, prevent you from getting a job, cannabis offenses on a person’s record expunged. You’re absolutely right about them having their cake, the taxes and savings, and then turning around and letting people still get discriminated against, you know, not get jobs and get fired for it. That’s probably a federal thing there that needs to get changed. Once the court case reaches the federal instance, the CSA will trump.

    6. OHW says:

      Change your vacations to the opening date of the retail outlets! Don’t go to Florida!

      Let’s sell out the entire quota on the 1st day!

    7. Brandon says:


      Washington State Voters Privatized Liquor Sales on Election Day 2011, one year before voting Marijuana Legalized.

      Liquor is now sold in Stores Over 30,000 sq. feet. Sadly, enough contrary to what most voters were led to believe before the election, Liquor has been increased on an average of $6.00 to $8.00 per Half Gallon. Due to vendor costs and increased sales tax with the states reimbursement of stock on hand upon privatization.

      Costco was the major player in the writing of what has turned into increased cost for convenience.

      Our Legalized Marijuana Program is also tainted by Big Business out of the gate.

      It’s lacking any kind of protections in the work place. For testing and the like, which is very much the opposite when it comes to Liquor.

      Employers are still openly able to refuse employment and terminate employment, with the age ole’ generic urine analysis.

      They want Marijuana Treated just as Liquor When it comes to Driving Under the Influence, but when it comes to everything else they want Marijuana & Liquor kept widely separate.

    8. celtic giraffe says:

      Pennsylvania needs to legalize also. I am from Harrisburg. This state has little idea how to increase revenues since the entire state is run by lobbyist and their friends. So any novel idea of how to increase revenue is left out. This is one of the highest taxed states in the union. Taxes could be so much lower. I can buy alcohol and get suicidal, angry and violent but I cant buy marijuana and get mellow, calm and happy. Makes a lot of logical sense, idiots.

    9. Mark Innes says:

      So the medicinal cannabis will be a certain color and taxed seperately than the recreational colored type? Appears to be another divide and conquer application of fear and ignorance.

      [Editor’s note: Probably closer to political pragmatism and economic reality than ‘divide and conquer’.]

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