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.
The Board met the new WSLCB Public Health Education Liaison and planned a visit to Spokane in early January.
Here are some observations from the December 4th WSLCB Board Caucus.
My top 3 takeaways:
- WSLCB Board Chair Jane Rushford introduced the new WSLCB Public Health Education Liaison, Scott McCarty (audio – 10m).
- McCarty will be replacing Mary Segawa who has held the position since January 2010.
- Starting in 2013, McCarty worked on youth prevention for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR).
- McCarty was “…part of all the pieces of [cannabis] legislation that came into DSHS which ended up being, something like, 120 bills that first year that had something to do with marijuana. And so, I would do all of the analysis for that, that then filtered its way up in DSHS for them to utilize.”
- DSHS: “Marijuana Legislation – Implementing Initiative 502”
- Most recently, McCarty founded and sold a private sector startup.
- McCarty claimed an academic background including, “a degree in biochemistry and analytical chemistry and then doctorates in pharmacology and pharmacy.”
- In early November, Chair Rushford, Segawa, and McCarty traveled together to the Washington State Prevention Summit where WSLCB hosted a workshop.
- Chair Rushford added: “He traveled with Mary and I, and it gave us a lot of time to get acquainted.”
- McCarty explained attaining this particular role at WSLCB had been a personal ambition of his: “This is a spot I wanted when I was back at DSHS, and Mary had her feet dug in here a little bit and so it wasn’t available.”
- Chair Rushford asked about McCarty’s priorities beyond “being involved looking at legislation”:
- McCarty first identified being Co-Chair of the Washington Healthy Youth Coalition as a priority for the upcoming year. He plans to review the coalition’s priorities and encourage the creation of “deliverables.”
- Board Member Russ Hauge told McCarty, “…the issues that you are charged with are going to be a part of everything we’re doing… How the market for cannabis is going to change, how we are going to address issues, ultimately, like on-site consumption. How we are going to make sure that there is equal opportunity for the big and the small growers.”
- Member Hauge: “So, at the same time that we’re expanding the market, we’re going to need you to tell us how to keep it clamped down so that – bad things don’t happen.”
- McCarty then brought up appropriate access.
- The Board expressed interest in research into cannabis use and brain development.
- McCarty: “Yeah, I’ve done a lot of brain research. I gave a ton of presentations just on the brain research and the influence of different drugs during brain development.”
- Chair Rushford and McCarty anticipated publication of the results of a “Healthy Use Survey” in March. McCarty volunteered, “I sit on that group also, so I’ll have the raw data a little bit earlier…” McCarty also mentioned the University of Washington has been conducting a “Young Adult Survey” of 6th grade through “college age” youth.
- Chair Rushford expressed interest in opening dialogue with The Brain Institute in Seattle.
- Chair Rushford briefed the board on preparations for the WSLCB visit to Spokane in early January (audio – 9m).
- WSLCB intends to host a public board meeting in Spokane on January 9th.
- The Board discussed opportunities for outreach including Washington State University researchers, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, the Spokane County Prosecutor, and local legislators.