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Been there, legalized that: Washington state the place to talk pot

Voters legalized marijuana in several states Tuesday. Many had sought advice already from the Washington state Liquor and Cannabis Board.
Voters legalized marijuana in several states Tuesday. Many had sought advice already from the Washington state Liquor and Cannabis Board. sbloom@theolympian.com

Voters in several states legalized marijuana Tuesday, but many have previously sought advice from Washington’s top pot regulation agency.

Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board has hosted 20 to 30 states and nations in the past two years, wanting to learn the ins and outs of legal weed, said agency spokesman Brian Smith.

In addition to groups from several states, including California, “we’ve met a contingency from Canada, Jamaica and France,” Smith said.

Washington and Colorado voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012. Pot shops first opened in the Evergreen State two years later.

Under Washington state law, marijuana growers and processors here cannot export their products to other states, Smith said.

The state also met with Alaska and Oregon officials shortly before voters in those states passed legal recreational marijuana laws in 2014, Smith said. Washington, D.C., voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2015.

None have talked with LCB officials since Tuesday’s election, Smith said. Voters in California, Nevada and Massachusetts legalized recreational pot in Tuesday’s election. Legal weed in Maine has a narrow lead and could be contested in a recount, according to the Bangor Daily News. Arizona voters handed the recreational cannabis industry its only defeat Tuesday.

Medical marijuana was given the green light in Florida, North Dakota, Montana and Arkansas in Tuesday’s election.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Workers who use pot on their own time and get caught risk losing their jobs. The Drug Enforcement Administration declared earlier this year that marijuana has no medicinal purpose and declined to remove it from its schedule of the most dangerous drugs.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542, @KateReports

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