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Legal Sale of Marijuana to Commence Tuesday in Washington

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On Monday, the state of Washington will take the final step needed to legalize recreational use of marijuana when officials issue retail licenses to stores, according to Reuters. The stores that receive these licenses could start selling marijuana within 24 hours.

So far, the state has received 334 marijuana retail applications. Of those 334 applications, only 20 stores are expected to begin selling cannabis on Tuesday. According to the Washington State Liquor Control Board, some applicants have not passed final inspection yet and some townships have banned the sale of marijuana.

The number of stores opening their doors will increase as inspectors approve applications.

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Washington is just the second state to legalize recreational marijuana sales for adults. They followed the lead set forth by Colorado. The new system was approved by voters in November of 2012.

The United States Justice Department said that it will not get involved in states that have “strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems.”

When a retailer is issued a license, it can contact a licensed processor to place an order. The product must be quarantined for 24 hours prior to delivery to the retail stores. The inventory must be scanned into a statewide computer system that tracks all the marijuana.

The state will allow consumers to purchase one ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of product infused with marijuana in solid form or 72 ounces of product infused with marijuana in liquid form.

Analysts have said that the product could sell-out within hours on Tuesday due to a lack of qualified growers and processors. The state’s Liquor Control Board is dealing with a backlog of growers who need to be screened.

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