I-502: July Revised Draft Rules
July 5, 2013
Grabbing headlines under the new regulations is our “Produced in Washington” icon has been removed from the proposal. No immediate replacement was included with the new labeling revisions but the LCB has indicated it is already working on a new logo that does not tarnish our state image. Rumors we might use Idaho’s image instead in retaliation for years of lost tobacco tax revenue are unconfirmed.
Another new change being reported is that outdoor growing will be allowed under the new revisions. Why exactly that is getting so much print when nothing outside grows here during the winter is a mystery. The new rules would also require an 8′ solid fence and 24 hour video surveillance so you can watch deer jump over and rabbits go under to eat your plants.
How a lower yielding, slower growing, at risk to the elements outdoor crop restricted to an annual grow window east of the Cascades would even pay for the fencing alone remains unexplained by media reports.
Hemp production that does have a profit potential outdoors in Eastern Washington is not covered under I-502. Stalks that could be used as a secondary industrial product must instead be destroyed by the producer/distributor further reducing profit potential for both indoor and outdoor grows.
Also not covered under I-502 is Medical cannabis, and for a very good reason. Under the Washington State Constitution an initiative can only address one subject at a time. If two subjects are addressed under one initiative it then becomes unconstitutional and is deemed void.
For this reason I am very distressed when the LCB starts talking about adding new regulations under these draft rules regulating medically prescribed cannabis. If the LCB is allowed to do so then that opens the door to a later lawsuit halting the initiative. I-502 would then be addressing both recreational cannabis and medical cannabis making the entire initiative unconstitutional and void.
We wouldn’t have to worry about the Feds stepping in later since the new laws would already have been rolled back to 2012 making recreational cannabis illegal again.
Besides, our Liquor Control Board has no place regulating the medical prescription industry to begin with. Simply because there is a recreational use for a certain product is a very weak excuse that does not stand up. Where does medical cannabis end and prescription painkillers start? I am surprised that Washington state doctors are not raising a fuss about that.
And as if thousands upon thousands of dollars in cameras and computer servers isn’t enough to tip your budget we have another change. All Financiers of these new businesses must meet a three month residency requirement. That means no funding from outside the state is allowed making it even harder to get one started.
All in all the revised draft rules for I-502 is in my estimation a line by line guarantee that the retail market will fail after the opening surge. Over priced retail cannabis and no home growing allowed is only going to encourage a larger black-market than we had before.
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