Liquor Control Board Chair’s statement on AG Ferguson’s formal opinion on marijuana businesses

Sharon Foster requested opinion on whether local government could ban recreational marijuana businesses.

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Liquor Control Board Chairman Sharon Foster today issued the following statement regarding the Washington State Attorney General’s Formal Opinion concerning marijuana businesses.

“On behalf of my fellow board members, I would like to thank Attorney General Ferguson for providing a thorough legal analysis of our request as to whether a local government could formally or effectively ban a marijuana business from its jurisdiction. The formal opinion indicates that they have the ability to do so.

The legal opinion will be a disappointment to the majority of Washington’s voters who approved Initiative 502. We’re not yet sure how this opinion will change the implementation of the initiative. If some local governments impose bans it will impact public safety by allowing the current illicit market to continue. It will also reduce the state’s expectations for revenue generated from the legal system we are putting in place.

The Board will be discussing next steps. We have already been working with local governments, legislators and the governor’s office on this issue and will continue to do so. As we have throughout this process, we will clearly communicate our intentions along the way.”

           

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