Sales of recreational marijuana sales are scheduled to begin as early as Tuesday in Washington state. The first 24 marijuana retailer licenses were issued by the state’s Liquor Control Board on Monday, NPR reports.
In a news release, the Liquor Control Board noted it has put into place strict rules regarding packaging, labeling and advertising to ensure marijuana products do not appeal to children. Recreational use of the drug is legal in Washington state for adults 21 and older.
Some experts predict there will be significant shortages of marijuana, accompanied by temporary price increases, as growers race to meet demand.
In June, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced rules designed to keep marijuana out of the hands of children. The state will require approval of packaging for edible marijuana products. Cartoons, toy images and other labels that appeal to children will be banned.
Sales of recreational marijuana in Colorado began January 1. During the first few days of sales in Colorado, the price of an ounce of high-grade marijuana rose past $300, the article notes. Prices decreased after the initial buying frenzy. By this past weekend, one large chain of marijuana stores was selling an ounce for $85 plus tax.
Under federal law it is illegal to possess marijuana. Last year, the Justice Department announced it would allow Colorado and Washington to carry out their new recreational marijuana laws. The department said it will focus enforcement on criminal charges in specific areas, such as distribution to minors.