State liquor board approves rules for selling marijuana; dispensaries still banned in Federal Way

A pile of high-grade marijuana buds. This strain is called Grand Daddy Purple, according to Ancient Medicine, a dispensary in Tacoma. - Courtesy photo
A pile of high-grade marijuana buds. This strain is called Grand Daddy Purple, according to Ancient Medicine, a dispensary in Tacoma.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

From staff reports:

The Washington State Liquor Control Board approved the rules for "producing, processing and retailing recreational marijuana" earlier this week.

The operation of the state's would-be marijuana industry is encompassed in a "42-page, single-spaced" document, and according to the board, it will focus on protecting Washington state residents.

"Public safety is our top priority," said board chair Sharon Foster. "These rules fulfill the public expectation of creating a tightly-regulated and controlled system while providing reasonable access to participation in the market."

The rules come as the culmination of months of work and public meetings, according to the board. Eight public forums drew more than 3,000 attendees across the state, while 11 internal teams performed work on a variety of issues.

For Federal Way, a moratorium imposed on marijuana dispensaries has expired, said city spokesman Chris Carrel, but that doesn't mean such businesses will be able to set up shop within city limits.

"Marijuana dispensaries remain illegal under federal law," Carrell wrote in an email to The Mirror. "The city code prevents the issuance of business licenses for activities that are illegal under federal law."


All grows must meet strictly controlled on-site security requirements, including:

• Strict surveillance and transportation requirements

• Robust traceability software system that will track inventory from start to sale

• Criminal background checks on all license applicants

• Tough penalty guidelines for public safety violations including loss of license

• Restricting certain advertising that may be targeted at children

The consumer safety rules adopted include:

• Packaging and label requirements including dosage and warnings

• Child-resistant packaging for marijuana in solid and liquid forms

• Only lab tested and approved products will be available

• Defined serving sizes and package limits on marijuana in solid form

• Store signage requirements to educate customers

The board will hold public hearings on the proposed rules between Aug. 6-8. Locations for these public hearings are expected to be held in Olympia, the Seattle area, Ellensburg and Spokane.

The dates and times of the public hearings on the new rules will be posted online at


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