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Published on Friday, April 5, 2013

Liquor Control Board seeks to prohibit marijuana consumption in bars

The Liquor Control Board (LCB) has begun a rule-making process to clarify that marijuana consumption in state liquor-licensed establishments is unacceptable. Public comments are being accepted through May 10.

The LCB’s move has been prompted by two bars in Washington that are pushing the legal envelope by allowing customers to consume marijuana on their premises. In order to bypass the statewide smoking ban passed in 2005, one business has created “private rooms” and charges a nominal membership fee for entrance. Another location is attempting to side-step the state smoking ban by allowing only the vaporizing of marijuana, which involves heating the product without a flame.

The LCB has responded to these cases with great concern – both legal concerns about public consumption in liquor-licensed establishments, and public safety concerns around the combined use of marijuana and alcohol. The LCB plans to stop this activity, as announced in its notice of rule-making, by further clarifying that consuming marijuana in state liquor-licensed establishments is not acceptable.

The LCB formally opened its rule-making process on April 3 and is seeking input on the topic of marijuana consumption at licensed locations. The proposed timeline for this process and more details are available here. You can submit your comments to the LCB through May 10, 2013:

By mail:
Rules Coordinator
Liquor Control Board
P.O. Box 43080
Olympia, WA 98504-3080
By e-mail:
rules@liq.wa.gov
By fax:
360-664-9689
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