State, feds to cooperate on fingerprint checks for pot businesses

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by ALLEN SCHAUFFLER / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Updated Thursday, May 23 at 6:00 PM

The State of Washington is devising a “points” system based on criminal convictions that will help determine who gets pot-business licenses and who doesn’t.  So if you want to grow, process or sell marijuana under the state’s new pot-law, your fingerprints will be compared to those already captured in the FBI’s data-base, the “Interstate Identification Index.”

Here’s what the new “draft rules” from the state Liquor Control Board say on the subject: “These fingerprints will be submitted to the Washington State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for comparison to their criminal records.” (WAC 314-55-020, 3-a)

While other state agencies often use this federal fingerprint resource when conducting the background checks, the WSLCB doesn’t.  When asked how much contact they had with the FBI on this specific issue, a spokesperson told KING 5, ”Zero.”

Brain Smith with the WSLCB says he just doesn’t expect any problem using that FBI data-base, even though neither the bureau nor its parent-agency, the Department of Justice, has been willing to comment on the process.

“People’s fingerprints are being run as a matter of routine and it only makes sense we would do this now with the marijuana license,” said Smith.

Final regulations governing the growing, processing and selling of marijuana in Washington should be complete by the end of next month.
 
 
 

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