New regulations that took effect on Saturday, October 2, expand the pool of applicants eligible to receive licensure to participate in the state’s legal marijuana industry.
Under the new policy, those with either felony criminal records or multiple misdemeanors are no longer ineligible from consideration for licensure.
The rule change comes as lawmakers have prioritized efforts to strengthen social equity within the state’s legal marijuana industry. In April, Washington legislators approved House Bill 1443, which provides resources for those with past marijuana convictions who are seeking to engage in a cannabis-related business.
NORML’s State Policies Manager Carly Wolf praised the policy change. “Regulators should not be creating undue barriers of entry for those seeking to participate in the legal adult use marketplace,” she said. “This new rule will encourage more inclusiveness and diversity in Washington’s growing cannabis industry.”