Red Tape Frenzy Poses Hurdles To Washington's Legal Marijuana

How can an industry exist unless it's smothered in bureaucracy?


When more than 1.7 million Washington residents voted to make marijuana legal for adults last November, most probably didn't give much thought to how that would work.

Some may have wondered who would grow it and who would sell it. A few may have questioned how those businesses would set up and operate.

But the discussions likely tended more toward Cheech & Chong than Dun & Bradstreet.

As the state tries to create a legal industry that hasn't existed before, it finds more questions than answers: How will legal marijuana grown in Washington be tracked and kept from "leaking" into the black markets in surrounding states? How will its chemical content be tested and labeled? How will it be packaged to discourage use by children.