WA House APP - Committee Meeting
(April 8, 2019)

Monday April 8, 2019 9:00 AM
Washington State House of Representatives Logo

The Washington State House Appropriations Committee (WA House APP) considers the operating budget bill and related legislation, budget processes, and fiscal issues such as pension policy and compensation. The committee also considers bills with operating budget fiscal impacts.

Engagement Options

In-Person

O'Brien Building, 15th Avenue Southwest, Olympia, WA, USA

Observations

On April 8th, the House Appropriations Committee hosted a public hearing and executive session for SB 5276.

(audio – 5m, video).

  • Jim Jesernig, with the law firm Lane Powell, argued the bill was an important way for Washington to reap the economic benefits of the hemp market other states were already leading on (audio – 5m, video).
  • During executive session on the same day, the committee was briefed on two amendments (audio – 1m, video), adopted both, and moved the amended bill out of committee with a “do pass” recommendation (audio – 3m, video).
    • Representative Derek Stanford presented 5276-S2.E AMH APP CLOD 050, a “clarifying amendment” with the following effects on the bill:
      • Limits authorized hemp food products produced under the new commercial hemp program to those hemp food products that are allowable under federal law. Restores the prohibition in the existing Industrial Hemp Research Program on processing any part of industrial hemp, except seed, as food, extract, oil, cake, concentrate, resin, or other preparation for topical use, oral consumption, or inhalation by humans, while adding an exception for when these activities are allowed under federal law.
    • The committee also adopted amendment 5276-S2.E AMH APP FRAS 999, a “null and void” amendment from Committee Chair Ormsby.
      • The WSDA’s fiscal note on the legislation “[anticipated] an expenditure impact of $212,300 for FY20; including rulemaking and Attorney General costs associated with rulemaking necessary to implement the proposed changes. The WSDA anticipates an annual expenditure impact of $206,300 for FY21 and ongoing for salary/benefits and associates cost.”
  • The bill was passed by voice vote following supportive comments from MacEwen and Stanford on agricultural opportunities for the state afforded by HB 5276.
  • The House version of the hemp bill, HB 1401, was the only cannabis-related bill which did not advance after passing the house of origin cutoff.

On April 5th, the House Appropriations Committee hosted a public hearing on the bill. On April 8th, the committee hosted an executive session for SB 5605.

    • Committee Chair Timm Ormsby’s amendment SB 5605 AMH APP FRAS 999 was adopted.
      • Adds a null and void clause. The bill is null and void unless funded in the budget.
      • According to the legislation’s fiscal note, unless lawmakers budget $453,000 to the Washington State Patrol (WSP) for implementation, the bill won’t go into effect.
    • Representative Joe Fitzgibbon, who sponsored the bill’s House companion HB 1500, told fellow members he was happy the bill had finally gotten momentum after several years. He added that passing the bill would “enable all those people who are guilty of something that the voters of our state no longer think should be criminalized to move on with their lives.”
    • Representative MacEwen promised his support, but admitted his caucus would be “mixed” due to costs and resistance to forgiving acts that were illegal at the time.

On April 8th, the House Appropriations Committee hosted a public hearing for SB 5318.

  • SB 5318 - "Reforming the compliance and enforcement provisions for marijuana licensees" (audio – 9m, video).
    • The committee heard supportive testimony from Vicki Christophersen of the Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA).
    • Arne Nelson, co-founder of Evergreen Market, called for changes to “strengthen” WSLCB’s enforcement powers against fraud or false statements regarding ownership.
  • During executive session later the same day, the committee was briefed on three bill amendments (audio – 4m, video) and adopted two (audio – 5m, video).
    • Representative Gerry Pollet withdrew amendment 5318-S.E AMH APP CLOD 047 regarding penalties for providing false information, violations where a licensee received prior warnings, and other circumstances.
    • Pollet’s amendment 5318-S.E AMH APP CLOD 049 was adopted by voice vote and had the following effects:
      • Eliminates the provision that information obtained by the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) as a result of licensee-requested consultation and training services is confidential and not subject to public inspection under the Public Records Act (chapter 42.56 RCW). Adds a provision that valuable formulae or financial or proprietary commercial information records received during a consultative visit, or while providing consultative services, are not subject to inspection pursuant to the Public Records Act. Adds a parallel reference to this new exemption in the Public Records Act.
    • Representative Drew MacEwen’s amendment 5318-S.E AMH APP H2691.2 was also passed and had the following effects:
      • Adds the word “intentional” to the provisions related to a violation involving the furnishing of marijuana product to minors, so furnishing of marijuana product to minors must be intentional for the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to issue a marijuana licensee a civil penalty without first issuing a notice of correction, cancel a license for a single violation, or consider violations that occurred more than two years prior as grounds for license denial, suspension, revocation, cancellation, or nonrenewal.
  • The amended bill was passed by voice vote and referred to the House Rules Committee with a “do pass” recommendation.

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