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Planning begins for growing and selling pot

The state Liquor Control Board, responsible for regulating the production and sale of marijuana in Washington under Initiative 502, is preparing to move ahead with implementation plans.

“Essentially, a system will be built from the ground up,” the agency said in a statement issued this morning. “The initiative provides the WSLCB until December 1, 2013 to craft rules for implementation. We expect that it will take the full year to craft the necessary rules which will provide the framework for the new system. As we develop the rules we will keep in mind our top priority, public safety.”

The ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana use among adults was approved by a landslide margin in Tuesday’s general election, but won’t become official until the results are certified next month.

Also, questions remain over conflicts in state and federal law.

Regardless of what happens in Washington state, federal law still regards marijuana as an illegal drug with no benefit.

“We will reach out to the federal Department of Justice in the coming weeks for clarification,” the Liquor Control Board statement said. “We will also communicate with our state partners such as the Washington State Patrol, the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture, and others affected by I-502.”

(This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information is available)

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