sharon foster

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Washington: Liquor Control Board Chairwoman Uses Marijuana For Pain


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The soon-to-retire chairwoman of the Washington State Liquor Control Board -- which is in charge of recreational marijuana in the state, and perhaps soon medicinal cannabis as well -- has admitted she used medical marijuana this week to control pain after a knee replacement surgery.

Sharon Foster said her doctors sent her home with heavy painkillers, reports The News Tribune of Tacoma. "I have enough oxycodone to go on the black market," she said.

But Foster decided opioids weren't for her. She opted instead this week to use marijuana, which she's been in charge of regulating for two years now. She obtained some cannabis-infused brownies for that purpose.

“By the time I went to bed, which was maybe an hour and a half or two hours after I ate this brownie — piece of brownie — I didn’t feel anything,” Foster told the News Tribune’s statehouse reporter. “So all I know is, I was relaxed enough to go to sleep. So if I was high, I don’t know it,” she claimed.

Foster reportedly used the brownies Sunday night, Monday night, and again Tuesday night.

Washington: Liquor Board Issues First Recreational Marijuana Licenses


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Washington State Liquor Control Board on Wednesday issued the state's first licenses to produce and process recreational marijuana during a Board meeting at its headquarters in Olympia.

The licenses were issued to Sean Green of Spokane, who will be doing business as Kouchlock Productions.

"This is a historic day," said Board Chair Sharon Foster. "The hard work and preparation this agency has done has laid the foundation to make this pioneering endeavor a success."

Kouchlock Productions is licensed to produce and process -- but not sell -- recreational marijuana. It holds a restricted tier-three license to produce marijuana initially up to a maximum of 21,000 square feet.

The company is one of more than 2,800 producer license applications that the WSLCB is currently processing. Licenses will be continuously issued as they are ready.

The WSLCB will update weekly its list of pending and active marijuana licenses on the Frequently Requested Lists page of the public records section of its website.

Washington: Liquor Control Board Limits Marijuana Licenses To One Per Applicant


Board to limit individual production, will begin issuing producer and processor licenses soon

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (Board) on Wednesday approved staff’s recommendations to limit the number of individual marijuana producer licenses to one (from the previous limit of three) and initially limit production at 70 percent, clearing a path for the agency to begin issuing producer and processor licenses.

“Today’s Board action clears an obstacle and allows the agency to begin issuing marijuana producer and processor license in the coming weeks,” said Board Chair Sharon Foster. “We believe this is the most fair and equitable way to get the market up and running.”

Single Production License Limited to 70 Percent

In its enforcement guidelines issued August 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice required states to ensure a tightly regulated and controlled market to prevent diversion of product to other states, sales to minors and other concerns.

The Board used available consumption data supplied by its consultant, BOTEC Analysis Corporation, to craft production limits in its rules to meet initial consumer demand without over-supplying. The rules are based on BOTEC’s input that the state can capture just "13 to 25 percent of the overall market in the first year of recreational sales."

"Additional production is likely necessary for the state to capture an increasing percentage as the market refines and matures," the Board drily noted. "Agency rules allow for flexibility to meet an evolving controlled market."

Washington: Board Reverses Itself; Recommends Medical Marijuana Patients Can Grow At Home


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

In a major victory for the medical marijuana community, the Washington State Liquor Control Board, under heavy patient pressure, on Wednesday reversed itself, signaling they will recommend to lawmakers that medical marijuana patients continue to be allowed to grow cannabis in their homes.

The LCB's previous recommendation that home growing be outlawed, in order to force patients to conform to recreational legalization measure I-502, had produced outrage in Washington's medical marijuana community. I-502 is the recreational cannabis legalization measure approved last year by state voters.

Board members now say they recommend that patients, or their designated providers, be allowed to grow up to six plants, three flowering and three nonflowering, reports Bob Young at The Seattle Times. Currently, patients are allowed to grow up to 15 plants at any stage of growth. Unexplained was why the 15-plant limit -- reached by the Legislature after extensive discussion -- was abandoned.

"We're all in agreement on home grows," said chair Sharon Foster of the three-member board. Members on Wednesday worked on changes they'd like to make to their recommendations, but didn't take formal action.

Washington: Liquor Control Board Adopts Rules For Marijuana Legalization Under I-502


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Washington State Liquor Control Board this week will file the CR103 for Initiative 502, the marijuana legalization measure approved by state voters last November. Filing the CR103 is the formal procedure for adoption of the proposed rules to implement I-502, and is the final step in the rule-making process.

After first announcing that the CR103 would be filed on Wednesday, the WSLCB a few hours later sent out another announcement saying that it will be filed "later this week."

"Due to the need to incorporate the large number of public comments into the concise explanatory statement that must be sent to stakeholders prior to filing the CR103, the Board will file the CR103 later this week," the second announcement reads. "The WSLCB will still begin accepting applications on November 18."

The rules become effective 30 days after adoption, which is where the November 18 date originates.

"Over these last several months we have put together a comprehensive system of rules which will serve as the foundation for this new industry," said Board Chair Sharon Foster. "This has been a very open process of rule-making with public involvement each step of the way.

"We appreciate all of the support and involvement we've had from Gov. [Jay] Inslee, local officials, law enforcement, industry members and Washington citizens along the way," she ssaid.

The Board claims the adopted rules achieve its stated goal of implementing a "tightly regulated and controlled" recreational marijuana market.

Washington: Liquor Control Board Announces 334 Marijuana Stores Will Open In State


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Up to 334 retail marijuana stores will be allowed in Washington state, the Liquor Control Board announced on Wednesday, and each county in the state will have its own cap on stores.

King County will be allowed 61 stores (21 of them in Seattle); Pierce County can have up to 31; Snohomish will be capped at 35 (five of them in Everett); Thurston County will have 11 (two each in Olympia and Lacey); Whatcom County will have 15 (six in Bellingham); Kitsap County will be allowed 10; and Clallam County will have six, report Austin Jenkins and Martha Kang at KPLU. Mason County will be allowed five stores, and Jefferson County will get four, reports The Kitsap Sun.

The entire state can produce, at most, 40 metric tons, or two million square feet, or marijuana per year, according to the WSLCB in its revised proposed rules for recreational cannabis. That amount is supposedly based on state research about the amount of cannabis consumed in Washington state prior to legalization, reports SF Gate.

Washington: Liquor Control Board Sets Public Hearings For Marijuana Legalization Implementation


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Washington State Liquor Control Board on Wednesday announced four public hearings across the state regarding the proposed rules for the implementation of Initiative 502 marijuana legalization.

The hearings are a required part of the rule-making process and provide an opportunity for stakeholders to offer public testimony on the proposed rules for I-502.

“Everything we’ve done regarding I-502 has drawn a crowd and we want to accommodate everyone,” said Board Chair Sharon Foster. “Having four hearings across the state allows us to do that.

"This is a chance for those who are impacted by, or anticipate being involved in, the business of marijuana to testify for the record about the proposed rules,” Foster said.

Washington regulators intend to charge $1,250 in license and application fees for marijuana growers and retailers, reports Jacob Sullum at Cannabis itself will be taxed 25 percent at each of three levels (growing, processing, and retailing). Home cultivation, unfortunately, is not permitted.

August 6: Shoreline Community College
Main Dining Hall
16101 Greenwood Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

August 7: Red Lion Hotel
Fir and Spruce Ballroom
2300 Evergreen Park Drive SW
Olympia, WA 98502
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

August 7: Central Washington University
Student Union Ballroom B and C
400 E University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Washington: State's Legal Marijuana Consultant Said In 2010 That Legalization 'Can't Be Done'

There is a truth that must be heard!Massachusetts-Based Think Tank Is Successful Vendor To Provide 'Technical Expertise' As Board Implements Cannabis Legalization

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) has chosen a Massachusetts-based firm , Botec Analysis Corp., led by Mark A.R. Kleiman, a professor at the University of California-Los Angeles, to be its official marijuana consultant. Ironically, Kleiman, in a 2010 editorial, wrote that state-level legalization "can't be done."

Botec, based in Cambridge, Mass., was chosen to provide technical expertise as the WSLCB implements Initiative 502, the marijuana legalization measured approved by 55.7 percent of the state's voters last November. Dr. Kleiman teaches public policy at UCLA, and is considered an expert in criminal and drug policy, including probation, parole, and incarceration. (More on that corrections-intensive resumé in a moment.)

Botec specializes in crime and drug policy, and will serve as the prime contractor. The fact that both the think tank and Kleiman specialize in "crime" is cause for concern among some marijuana advocates, who long for the day when cannabis will be defined in something other than criminal terms. (Was it too much to ask for this to happen after voters approved legalization?)

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