The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Cannabis Advisory Council (CAC) was formed in March 2017 to engage with cannabis stakeholders in a public setting to discuss the agency’s cannabis policies and issues of concern. Chaired by Board Member Ollie Garrett, the CAC membership has been primarily composed of representatives from licensee trade groups, but has included members representing tribal, consumer, minority, and medical patient perspectives.
The advisory council heard and commented on staff updates covering licensing, rulemaking, and legislative activity by the agency.
Here are some observations from the Wednesday May 9th Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Cannabis Advisory Council meeting.
My top 3 takeaways:
- Becky Smith, Director of Licensing gave an update Retail Title Certificates as well as the status of various licensing queues. (transcript).
- An interim policy was implemented and CR-101 was filed for Retail Tile Certificates on April 18, 2018. This allows for those 50 retailers who are in bans or moratoriums to apply for a certificate that will relieve them of some of the burdens of keeping a license active and “operational” (ie. paying for rent, security cameras, traceability systems, annual feed, and reporting sales.) The LCB has received only 12 out of 50 possible applications so far. Notices have been sent out via mail and e-mail. (transcript, audio).
- Number of producer/processor licenses left to issue – 17; Number of retail licenses left to issue – 24 (13 of those locations are in moratorium or bans); Number of pending second and third type P/P licenses – 23; Number of pending transportation licenses – 11; Number of pending research licenses – 1; Number of pending Co-ops – 2; Number of licenses in receivership – 11 (10 of those are P/P). Target deadline for issuance of remaining licenses is June 2018. (transcript, audio).
- Joanna Eide, Policy and Rules Coordinator, gave an update on a very long list of rule-making (transcript).
- The public hearing for License Forfeiture Rules CR-102 will be May 16th. If there are no changes, the board will be asked to adopt these rules on May 30th Making the effective date July 1st. Deadlines included within those rules are November 1st, or 12 months after license issuing, whichever is longer (transcript, audio).
- The CR-102 for Retail Title Certificates will be filed June 13th, public hearing will be August 1st, and the LCB is looking at a September 16th effective date. However, the interim policy has already been adopted and are currently in effect. (transcript, audio).
- The Board has adopted final rules for packaging and labeling and well as an interim policy for implementing these rules. The interim policy will be effective June 7th and the hardline effective date for new rules will be January 1st, 2019 at which time all licensees must be operating under the new set of packaging and labeling rules. (transcript, audio)
- 2017/2018 Legislative rulemaking: (transcript, audio)
- 2018 – HB2334 passed this legislative session requiring any CBD product NOT coming from within the 502 system that is being introduced to products within the 502 system to be tested. This bill will take effect June 6th. The LCB is considering an interim policy to accelerate the rulemaking timeline.
- 2017 – Public hearing for 2017 cannabis legislation rules will be may 30th which will also be the public comment deadline. There are a few common concerns being brought to their attention including volume discounts, vendor samples, and packaging waste.
- Chris Thompson, Director of Legislative Relations, introduced some interim studies that the LCB is charged with conducting or participating in. (transcript, audio).
- The legislature has mandated that the LCB conduct an interim study on home delivery. This study will examine practical implementation methods, legal and regulatory issues, possibility of illicit activity, retailer eligibility, patient information verification and security and many other factors. As part of the study they are directed to work with the Department of Health, industry representatives, local government officials, and local law enforcement. The LCB would like to cast an even wider net than that to include other stakeholders such as patients. The report is due December 1st. There will be public comment period.