WSLCB - Board Caucus
(September 4, 2018)

Tuesday September 4, 2018 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM Observed
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The three-member board of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) meets weekly in caucus to discuss current issues and receive invited briefings from agency staff.


Medically compliant products, the penalty matrix for traceability violations, and financier vetting were debated by the Board.

Here are some observations from the Tuesday September 4th Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Board Caucus.

My top 3 takeaways:

  • The Board discussed challenges for medically compliant product rulemaking, one of their four priorities, by the end of the year (transcript, audio).
    • Member Russ Hauge cited former Policy and Rules Coordinator Joanna Eide’s departure as the major reason for this concern. Chair Jane Rushford concurred.
    • Hauge suggested convening a working group to help. Rushford put it on her agenda for a meeting scheduled with WSLCB Director Rick Garza the following day (September 6, 2018).
    • Rushford: “[I]t’s become quite a serious issue with our stakeholders and needs our attention.”
    • The Board will next take the issue up collectively at the next Board Caucus meeting (September 11, 2018).
  • The Board discussed adjusting the penalty matrix for traceability violations for what they consider aggravated situations (transcript, audio).
    • Hauge noted that the current penalties for non-aggravated situations are the same as those for situations like untagged products.
    • Rushford concurred: “It’s disproportionate the way that it, that that played out, given that we’ve had much less significant violations that have been, you know, have had the same penalty.”
  • The Board discussed investment and vetting of financiers given the emergence of investment money from publicly traded Canadian companies (transcript, audio).
    • Hauge: “On the one hand … we could take the position that okay, it’s a publicly-traded company that wants to make this investment, therefore we should vet every shareholder, and which … would effectively bar investment by publicly-traded companies or most people … or entities with sophisticated corporate identities … I don’t think we want to do that, or if we do, like we want to do that like Colorado, we should be explicit about it”
    • Hague: “On the other hand … my understanding is that Licensing doesn’t have a real clear template as to how far to go … there are issues about how far should we go to protect the public in vetting financiers that are corporate entities.”
    • Rushford agreed to take it up with Garza at the next Caucus meeting.

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