The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) convenes special caucuses of the three-member Board at irregular times to discuss current issues and receive invited briefings from agency staff.
The Board and the Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe met virtually to amend and extend the nation’s oldest Marijuana Compact between a State and a Tribal Nation in addition to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Tribe’s business entity.
- Negotiation authority for tribal cannabis compacts was delegated to the Board by the Governor in 2015. The most recent compacts signed were on April 28th between the state and the Lower Elwha Klallam and Nisqually Indian Tribes.
- Board Chair Jane Rushford called the meeting to order and announced an amendment to the agenda to allow for remarks from Suquamish Tribe Chairman Leonard Forsman before briefly closing the meeting in executive session (audio - 1m).
- WSLCB Tribal Liaison Brett Cain briefed on the amendments to the MOA “between Port Madison Enterprises, an agency of the Suquamish Tribe, and the LCB concerning authorization of liquor sales.” The central change to the MOA expanded its scope beyond liquor retail sales to include “manufacturing, distilling, blending, rectifying, aging, storing, or distribution of beer, wine, and spirits.” The Board voted to approve the amendment without further questions (audio - 3m).
- Turning to amendments to the Marijuana Compact, Cain said the changes “include clarification under the State taxes section of the document and an extension of the effective date of the compact to February 1st, 2030.” Having no questions, the Board adopted the amended compact (audio - 1m).
- Chairman Forsman addressed the Board, thanking them for “working hard through the pandemic.” He thanked Governor Jay Inslee and everyone who had worked to create the original agreement, saying it was “a relief to be here to sign this with the Board.” While it may have taken “time, effort, and dialogue, lots of dialogue,” Forsman said he “look[ed] forward to our future work together” (audio - 2m).
- Cain introduced the Board’s final action of the irregular public meeting, the delegation of “authority to finalize dispute settlement negotiations” between the agency and the Tribe to Director Rick Garza “under the parameters it has authorized.” The Board voted to approve the delegation of power without comment (audio - 1m).
- In closing, Cain chose to “echo Chairman Forsman’s comments and convey the LCB’s appreciation to the Governor’s General Counsel [Kathryn Leathers] and other staff; staff from Port Madison Enterprises, particularly their General Counsel [Devon Tiam]; and our Assistant Attorney General [Bruce Turcott] for their contribution and efforts in bringing these negotiations close to resolution.” Rushford was similarly grateful to Cain and all who’d labored on the compact (audio - 1m).
- Wrapping up the 20 minute meeting, Rushford said that flags at the WSLCB would be lowered to half mast over the weekend to honor the victims of the coronavirus outbreak “and again for Monday for those who have sacrificed their lives serving our country” in observance of Memorial Day (audio - 1m).