Liquor board plans forums on future marijuana regulation

The Washington State Liquor Control Board will hold six public forums regarding the agency’s implementation of Initiative 502, which legalizes, licenses and regulates marijuana production, distribution, and possession for people over 21.

The forum closest to Bellingham will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Skagit Valley College’s campus theater, 2405 E. College Way in Mount Vernon. Additional forums are planned in Olympia, Seattle, Vancouver, Spokane and Yakima.

Forums will include an open house with liquor board staff, an overview of the board’s role in implementing I-502, information on the timeline for implementation, as well as time for public comments.

I-502, which was passed by Washington voters last November, gives the state until Dec. 1, 2013, to craft rules for implementation. The liquor board expects to take the full year to develop the framework for the new system.

Liquor board directors said the forums will be an opportunity for interested citizens to receive updates on I-502 implementation and provide input to the board.

“Clearly there is passion about what Washington’s system of legal marijuana will look like when fully implemented,” said Sharon Foster, the liquor board’s chair, in a press release. “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. We appreciate the cooperation of the Association of Washington Cities for their help in arranging these forums.”

Additional information, including a fact sheet, answers to frequently asked questions and a tentative timeline, is available on the liquor board’s website at

Initiative 502 forums (all begin at 6 p.m.)

– Jan. 22: WSLCB Headquarters, Conference Room 201, 3000 Pacific Ave. SE, Olympia, WA 98501
– Jan. 24: Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room, 600 Fourth Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
– Feb. 7: Clark College, Vancouver, Foster Auditorium, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663
– Feb. 12: Spokane City Hall, Council Chambers, 808 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201
– Feb. 19: Skagit Valley College, Mt. Vernon, Theater, 2405 East College Way, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
– Feb. 21: Yakima City Hall, Council Chambers 129 North Second St, Yakima, WA 98901

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