Washington State Official Who Helped Implement Rec Laws Stepping Down

The deputy director of Washington State’s Liquor and Cannabis Board, who had a vital role in crafting the law governing the state’s recreational industry, is stepping down.

Randy Simmons will leave the LCB for a senior administrator position with the state Department of Revenue at the end of August. After a difficult legislative session in which the state’s medical marijuana program was rolled into its recreational market, he said he’s “tired of all the battles going on,” according to the Seattle Times.

Simmons has been lauded for his efforts by industry and state officials alike.

As the director of the LCB’s marijuana project, overseeing 11 teams that researched the best ways to legalize cannabis, he was in charge of implementing Initiative 502, the state’s law legalizing recreational marijuana. Hilary Bricken, an attorney with Harris Moure, a firm that works with cannabis companies, called him “a student of the game” and said he actually cared about his work, the Times reported. Alison Holcomb, the chief author of I502, told the newspaper that he “did a fantastic job of embracing an impossible task.”

If there’s one thing he learned from the job, it’s that marijuana won’t solve every ailment, but also that people need “to stop listening to what Richard Nixon said, declaring this a disaster for the youth of this nation,” Simmons said.