As Washington awaits its first recreational marijuana retail stores to open July 8th, the state is taking additional efforts to keep marijuana out of the hands of minors. The first wave of about 20 recreational marijuana retail stores will get their licences from the Liquor Control Board on Monday, July 7, says Brian Smith, the LCB’s communication director. Those new licensees will have to use the first 24 hours getting the marijuana into their store tracing program, then they can open on the 8th.
If you don’t remember this, Washington legalized marijuana for adults in November 2012 by approving Initiative 502. Unlike Colorado’s residents, those from Washington are not allowed to grow their own marijuana for recreational use.
Emergency new rules and regulations to follow
At a press conference, Governor Jay Inslee announced a coordinated campaign with a goal to keep marijuana out of the hands of minors once all these stores open. The Washington State Liquor Control Board adopted emergency rules and regulations which will require child-resistant packaging on marijuana products and prohibit images that could appeal to minors: “Many marijuana-infused products on the medical marijuana market today are appealing to children. Products such as lollipops, gummy bears, and cotton candy are very appealing to children too young to read a label.” All marijuana-infused products, packaging, and labelling will first have to be approved by the LCB.
It is only natural to conduct these new rules and hopefully, those who have led the campaign and effort to legalize marijuana will understand why are they important, the Governor said, adding that state agencies are working together to educate the public on this matter, providing vital information which will help people to make reasonable and healthy decisions regarding usage of marijuana and kids’ safety.
Retails are scrambling to make the first marijuana sales
Farmers are trimming their plants – it’s only a couple of days until the stores open. One retailer who expects to open a store in Washington on July 8 is Todd Shirley: “The last thing we want to do is open and have very little inventory, run for a couple days and then shut down for three days. I really do think that will be a problem. Once we open, I would like to be able to supply our clients. And to have to shut down for a few days could cause them to go elsewhere.”
Another retailers’ fear is that the initial price of recreational marijuana will be unpredictable during the introductory phase. It is expected that when recreational shops open, the retail price per gram will be around $20 -$25. Retailers also expect this price to go down as more shops start to open and, accordingly, more farmers plant and harvest their crops. Some predict the price will level out between $10 and $15 per gram.