Retail Marijuana Stores May Come to Washington State

BlogHer Original Post

If you live in Washington State and their proposed rules for selling retail marijuana are approved, then tucked amongst the Jos A. Banks and Paneras will be retail marijuana stores, similar to current liquor stores.  You will not be able to smoke marijuana on the premises, and these stores are tightly regulated as to where they can be placed.

Many of the details are meant to keep tight control over the sale of marijuana and to keep it away from children.  According to CNN, 2,000,000 square feet is the limit for the production space and up to 334 retail stores are allowed to open.

marijuana

Image: Blind Nomad via Flickr

Washington State has set up a detailed FAQ with answers to many of the common questions about Initiative 502, including where stores can be set-up and whether people can grow their own marijuana.  Highlights include,

  • Separate licenses for producers and retailers.  One person cannot grow and sell marijuana at the same time.
  • Homegrown marijuana continues to be illegal in terms of both sale and personal recreational use.
  • According to the FAQ, "You cannot set up a store within 1000 feet of any elementary or secondary school, playground, recreation center or facility, child care center, public park, public transit center, library, or game arcade that allows minors to enter."
  • No one can smoke in the store.
  • You cannot start selling marijuana in a non-marijuana retail store.  In other words, you cannot begin selling marijuana in a bar or in a health shop.
  • Non-Washington residents will be permitted to purchase marijuana, but they must use it within Washington State.
  • Marijuana will be sold on average for $12/gram, pre-tax.  Producers will get on average $3/gram.  The same batch of marijuana will be taxed three times: from producer to processor, from processor to retailer, and then from retailer to customer. 

Americans are definitely accustomed to seeing liquor stores, and many towns also sport cigar shops.  But what do you think of a retail marijuana store ending up in a local strip mall?  Weigh in and tell us what you think in the comment section.

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

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