Published: Saturday, January 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
State seeking input on how it will obtain, sell pot
OLYMPIA -- How the state plans to procure and sell marijuana is expected to be discussed at a series of public forums over the next month. In November, voters approved Initiative 502, launching Washington into the recreational marijuana business. If the federal government doesn't sue to stop it, the state is supposed to have a supply chain and retail outlets set up to sell pot to the public by Dec. 1. As part of the process, the Washington State Liquor Control Board plans to hold six evening public forums on the initiative starting next week. None of the forums is planned to be held in Snohomish County, but there are meetings planned in Mount Vernon and Seattle. The forums are an opportunity to meet the staff involved, find out how they plan to start this up and solicit opinions to the liquor control board to consider as the board develops rules. "Clearly there is passion about what Washington's system of legal marijuana will look like when fully implemented," said board chairwoman Sharon Foster in a statement. "This is an opportunity for the public to meet the board and staff involved in implementation, learn about our role in implementation and to provide testimony." More information including a fact sheet, answers to frequently asked questions and a tentative timeline is available on the liquor control board website at www.liq.wa.gov. The agenda for each meeting includes: 6-7 p.m. open house with board and staff; 7–7:05 p.m. board welcome; 7:05–7:15 p.m. overview of board's role in implementation and timeline; 7:15–10 p.m. public testimony. Meetings are scheduled for: •Tuesday: Washington State Liquor Control Board Headquarters, Conference Room 201, 3000 Pacific Ave. SE, Olympia; •Thursday: Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room, 600 Fourth Ave., Seattle; •Feb. 7: Clark College, Vancouver, Foster Auditorium, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver; •Feb. 12: Spokane City Hall, Council Chambers; 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane; •Feb. 19: Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon, Theater; 2405 E. College Way, Mount Vernon; •Feb. 21: Yakima City Hall, Council Chambers, 129 N. Second St., Yakima.