The Legalization Timeline

Jacob Sullum reports on the next steps for Washington's and Colorado's marijuana legalization laws. On Colorado:

The new law requires the department to begin processing license applications by October and to start issuing licenses by January 2014. “We say the licenses can be issued as soon as October 2013," says Brian Vicente, co-director of the Yes on 64 campaign. "Given the way government runs, we say they must be issued by January 2014. Our best guess is that it's 2014 when these stores will be opening up."

As with medical marijuana dispensaries, the new stores will be licensed not only by the state but also by local governments, which will have the authority to ban cannabis businesses within their boundaries—by a city council vote at any point or by ballot initiative in even-numbered years. "Probably the only retail marijuana shops will be pre-existing dispensaries that decide to opt in to this new system," Vicente says. "What we've found is that communities across Colorado, the ones that have not banned dispensaries, have strictly regulated these medical marijuana stores….I don't think they're going to expand the zoning. In fact, I think the pre-existing dispensaries stand to benefit from opting in to this system in 2014."

Earlier Dish on the subject here.