WASHINGTON: Washington marijuana regulators have a big job ahead of them, and replacing officers’ badges, shirts and caps with ones that read “Liquor and Cannabis Board” is the least of it.
The same law that will change the Liquor Control Board’s name July 24 directs the agency to decide which unlicensed medical-marijuana shops and grow operations to legitimize and which ones must close by July 1, 2016.
Questions remain unanswered, but the process will involve a merit system and will look different from the one the liquor board has used to hand out more than 500 licenses to growers and processors over the past year and more than 150 to stores.
The agency opened a 30-day window in late 2013 for those recreational-marijuana applications. Licenses went to growers and processors that were qualified and ready to go and retailers that won a lottery for a limited number of slots.