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State pot rules already being tweaked

The liquor control board took more than a thousand pages of comments after its proposed rules were released, and it will be making some changes based on those ideas. (AP Photo/File)

You can’t accuse the state liquor board of not listening to the public when it comes to making the rules for growing, selling and distributing marijuana. It took more than a thousand pages of comments after its proposed rules were released, and it will be making some changes based on those ideas.

But some of the changes the public is asking for, like altering where pot can be grown and sold, the board doesn’t have the power to change. “Fifty percent of the comments I’ve seen relate to things that once again we don’t have control over because they are a matter of law,” said board member Chris Marr.

One thing the public wants, but the liquor board can’t change, is the production and sale of marijuana concentrates or extracts, like hash and hash oil. Those aren’t allowed under the law. Many in the medical marijuana community want that changed.

Rules coordinator Karen McCall told the board on Wednesday that is something the board should ask the legislature to change. “There’s a whole list of things that we determined as an agency that really need legislative fixes so that will be one of those that will be put in there,” she said.

Here are some of the things McCall is recommending the board change when it comes out with its rules on July 3:

Outdoor growing operations. McCall says they were going to be banned over security concerns, but she believes outdoor grows will be OK.

“Smaller carbon footprint,” she said. “Some would say, in eastern Washington, that they grow the best marijuana because it’s grown outdoors. With the proper security, we feel that outdoor grows would work.”

The logo. One thing that needs tweaking is the logo the state came up with to put pot products. The giant marijuana leaf in the center of a state outline is gone. Law enforcement groups believe it pro

motes the idea that the state is endorsing marijuana use. “We wanted to have a logo that would be something that a parent or a teacher who would happen to see a package would know immediately, but I think we can come up with a different logo that would do the same,” McCall said.

No word on what the new logo will look like.

The board will propose its rules July 3. The public will then have a month to comment and the liquor board will host four public hearings across the state in August. They will be in Olympia, Everett, Ellensburg and Spokane.

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