State adds forum in Bremerton to gather comment on legalized marijuana industry

The Washington State Liquor Control Board has added a forum in Bremerton to its round-the-state tour to gather comments on the state's work to legalize marijuana.

Voters in Washington approved Initiative 502, which allowed the legal personal use of marijuana and retail sales of the drug, with a 55 percent "yes" vote in November.

I-502 puts the Liquor Control Board in charge of creating regulations for a seed-to-sale system for legal marijuana, and state officials have said they hope to issue initial licenses for marijuana growers in mid-2013 and for marijuana retailers in late 2013. The board has until Dec. 1 to finish writing regulations for the legal marijuana industry.

Last month, state officials announced a series of forums across Washington state where Liquor Control Board officials would gather comment and feedback as they write rules for setting up the legal marijuana system.

The Liquor Control Board announced Wednesday that community interest had prompted changes to its schedule of public forums. The first two public hearings, in Olympia and Seattle, drew overflow capacity crowds.

Larger venues will be used for the forums planned in Yakima (Feb. 28), Mount Vernon (Feb. 19) and Vancouver (Feb. 7).

A new forum has been added to the schedule for Bremerton. That meeting will be held Thursday, March 7 at the Kitsap Convention Center, located at 100 Washington Ave.

The forums begin at 6 p.m. with an open house, followed at 7:05 p.m. by an overview of the board's role in implementing I-502 and a timeline.

Public testimony starts at 7:15 and runs until 10 p.m.


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