Anticipating a large crowd at Tuesday’s forum on legalized marijuana rules, a state agency made an 11th hour decision to move to a bigger room.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board’s forum on its efforts to comply with Initiative 502 will be held in the Spokane Convention Center, starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday. A spokesman for the board said agency officials feared the Spokane City Council Chambers, which holds about 190 people in the basement of Spokane City Hall, wouldn’t be big enough.
The three previous forums all generated crowds bigger than the Council Chambers and an overflow room for 100 people would have held, Mikhail Carpenter said. More than 350 people showed up for the first forum in Olympia, about 500 attended the Seattle forum and about 400 were at the Vancouver forum.
The convention center ballroom will hold 450, and can be expanded if necessary.
The board announced new locations for other planned forums, and added new meetings to its schedule early last week. But the new location for Spokane wasn’t nailed down until late Friday. Because of that, a story in Sunday’s Spokesman-Review and three newspaper ads about the forum all had the old address.
Carpenter said the board hopes to a sign at City Hall directing people to the Convention Center, which is several blocks east on Spokane Falls Boulevard.
I-502 made the private use of marijuana by people 21 and over legal, but currently there’s not a legal way to purchase the drug. The law put the board in charge of adopting rules for growing, processing and selling marijuana, with a mandate to have those rules in place by Dec. 1.