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.
An executive session on hidden ownership investigations was scheduled, the Board expressed skepticism about cannabis-related traffic fatality data, and reacted to an op-ed on cannabis trafficking penned by a federal official.
Here are some observations from the Tuesday June 6th Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Board Caucus.
My top 3 takeaways:
- The WSLCB Board scheduled a closed Executive Session for next week’s Board Caucus to discuss hidden ownership investigations (transcript, audio).
- The Board has received a new wave of more detailed hidden ownership complaints. WSLCB Enforcement staff confirmed they have multiple “pending” investigations soon to be opened which will be discussed in closed Executive Session.
- Washington Traffic Safety Commission data considered “not honest” (transcript, audio).
- A healthcare provider approached WSLCB Board Member Russ Hauge to inquire about an alleged increase in cannabis-related crash fatalities reported by the Traffic Safety Commission. Member Hauge questioned the veracity of the data at a recent gathering of federal and Washington state law enforcement (transcript, audio), and may convene WSLCB leadership to discuss further action.
- The Board reacted to the cannabis op-ed by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington (transcript, audio).
- Hauge strongly criticized a recent opinion article published in the Seattle Times by U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes, in which she lays blame for illegal pot trafficking on the state. Hauge says her examples are largely federal crimes yet the U.S. Attorney complains about the state not prosecuting: “Now, to me that sounds like a classic case that the U.S. Attorney should pick up on, because it involves cross jurisdiction inside the state, and the product is going outside the state, and it involves foreign nationals. I can’t imagine a local prosecutor’s office with the resources, even King County, to fully execute on that set of facts, it just can’t be done.”