Panel to vote on rules for Washington pot industry

After nearly a year of research and debate, Wash. poised to OK rules for marijuana industry

Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) -- After nearly a year of research, planning and public hearings, Washington state is poised to approve the rules for its new legal marijuana industry.

The rules will dictate everything from the security at and size of licensed marijuana gardens, to how many pot stores can open in cities across the state.

The three-member Liquor Control Board is expected to vote to pass the rules Wednesday.

Washington and Colorado voted last year to legalize marijuana and allow its sale for recreational use at state-licensed stores. In Washington, supporters hope the sale of taxed pot to adults over 21 might bring the state tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.

The proposed rules allow up to 334 pot stores to open in Washington. The stores are expected to open by next summer.

Colorado approved its marijuana industry rules last month.

The federal government announced earlier this year that it would not sue Washington or Colorado over plans to tax and regulate marijuana sales for adults over 21.

The Department of Justice told the states it had eight priorities it wants them to address if they regulate pot, including keeping marijuana off the black market and keeping it away from kids

Washington's legal marijuana law already includes zoning requirements keeping the businesses away from schools, parks and playgrounds.

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