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Marijuana sales could begin in Washington state in early 2014

Sept. 4, 2013 at 3:52 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Recreational marijuana could be available for sale early next year in Washington state, officials say.

A spokesman for the state Liquor Control Board said the rules have been revised to allow legal growers to begin with mature plants, SeattlePI.com reported. While the plants must not be producing usable marijuana yet, they will be ready for harvest much sooner than if the growers had to start with immature plants.

Both Washington and Colorado approved legal marijuana for recreational use in referendums last year. Colorado is allowing growers of medical marijuana to sell their product for recreational use.

While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the U.S. Justice Department said last week it will not challenge the Washington and Colorado laws.

Washington is scheduled to begin issuing its first recreational grower licenses Dec. 1. Mark Kleiman, a member of the board advising the state on the new regulations, said the first legal sales could take place within weeks.

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