The Washington State Liquor Control Board on Wednesday adopted an official timeline for implementing the provisions of Initiative 502, which legalizes the recreational use of cannabis.
The new timeline replaces a tentative timeline posted on the agency website late last year.
The board said in a release that it is “on track to meet the December 1 deadline required by I-502.”
Key elements of the timeline provide that:
• The board will begin vetting draft rules with stakeholders in mid-May. This means that draft rules will be sent on a Listserv to solicit input before formally filing draft rules in mid-June. After draft rules are filed – as CR 102 – any significant changes require the agency to start the process over. By vetting the rules with stakeholders before filing the CR 102, the process will be more efficient, the board said.
• The draft rules will be for all license types rather than one at a time. This means that any potential licensee will have a view of the entire recreational marijuana business landscape before deciding whether to apply for a license.
• Under this timeline, the rules will be effective in August. The board will accept applications for all license types in September and issue licenses as early as December 1.
By law, the board must have the relevant rules written by December 1.
In capsule, the timeline says:
• Mid May: Draft rules sent to stakeholders for comment.
• Mid June: CR102 draft rules filed for the producer, processor and retailer licenses.
• Late July: Public hearings on rules for the producer, processor and retailer licenses allowing the public to comment on the draft rule language.
• Late August: Rules become effective.
• September: The board begins accepting producer, processor and retail license applications.
• December 1: Rules are complete. The board begins issuing producer, processor and retail licenses to qualified applicants.