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.

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4 comments on “Washington State Official Who Helped Implement Rec Laws Stepping Down
  1. C J Simpson on

    It is well know that the Rules in WA ST. are “how not to do it” and Colorado “the better way to do it”. Alison Holcomb, the chief author of I502 did a horrible job and Randy Simmons was just one of her inept minions in over there heads. In that Alison was a former SEIU Attorney (a non-business friendly organization) tells you a lot and whomever selected her should have known that she would be a bad choice. Simmons said, “tired of all the battles going on,” most of which could have been prevented with better foresight, leadership, knowledge, capability and capacity. Many more thoughts…….

    Best regards,


    • Stacey on

      Hi 🙂 Can anyone help me figure this out? Does Wa State only have recreational now? Has Medical been done away with? Thank You, so much for any help on this! And wishing all a wonderful day 🙂

      • Jeff D on

        Hello, yes WA has had their recreational stores open to the public 21+ for a little over 13 months now. Averages prices out the door including taxes have finally fallen below $12/gram. Medical is in the process of being combined with the recreational market so that medical patients can still buy their needed products without sales tax from an endorsed licensed 502 retailer. The medical only facilities are being given license priority in the next round for switching to the unified system, however they are free to operate independently until July of next year.

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