Last December, in Initiative 502, Washington voters decided to de-criminalize the possession of marijuana in small amounts by adults. The new law set up three categories of businesses to begin a legal market for the purchase of marijuana in Washington. The state Liquor Control Board was given the task of drafting rules for marijuana related businesses. In October, the LCB recently made its rules public. Cities and counties in Washington are now debating what kinds of zoning restrictions there will be for these new businesses.
Washington's legalization of marijuana for adults (I-502) and the attempt to establish a legal market is attracting national attention. According to recent press reports, more than 300 applications have already been received by the Liquor Control Board, the state agency charged with responsibility for licensing growers, producers, and retailers. If the number of applications for retail establishments exceeds the allowed number of licenses, there will be a lottery for the retail licenses.