The Week Ahead
(May 4, 2020)

The Governor was poised to extend his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation through May 31st while the WSLCB prepared for rulemaking under “the new normal.”

Here’s a look at cannabis-related policymaking events on Cannabis Observer’s calendars in the week ahead.

Monday May 4th

On Monday, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee planned to issue an extension of his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation which would likely impact the expiration of 19 other COVID-19 proclamations which were extended earlier in April.

  • In our last Week Ahead post, we noted that “Cannabis Observer was not aware of any formal action by the Office of the Governor to extend or modify the dated provisions of Proclamation 20-28” which established temporary changes to the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and Public Records Act (PRA). We subsequently located extensions of many of the Governor’s proclamations as well as the statutory authority for those extensions.
    • On April 17th, the Office of the Governor sent a letter to leadership of the Washington State House and Senate requesting the extension of proclamations 20-26, 20-27, 20-28, 20-29, 20-30, 20-31, 20-32, 20-33, 20-34, and 20-35. This request to the Legislature was necessary as a check on the Executive’s emergency powers is encoded in RCW 43.06.220(4):
      • No order or orders concerning waiver or suspension of statutory obligations or limitations under subsection (2) of this section may continue for longer than thirty days unless extended by the legislature through concurrent resolution. If the legislature is not in session, the waiver or suspension of statutory obligations or limitations may be extended in writing by the leadership of the senate and the house of representatives until the legislature can extend the waiver or suspension by concurrent resolution. For purposes of this section, "leadership of the senate and the house of representatives" means the majority and minority leaders of the senate and the speaker and the minority leader of the house of representatives.
    • On April 22nd, the Office of the Governor received a letter from leadership of the Washington State House and Senate authorizing the extension of “the statutory waivers and suspensions cited in these proclamations, until the termination of the COVID-19 State of Emergency or May 4, 2020, whichever occurs first.”
    • On April 23rd, the Office of the Governor announced the extension of 19 proclamations which incorporated the amended termination conditions including:
  • On Friday May 1st, Inslee hosted a press conference to announce the extension of the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation and describe the conditions for a data-driven, phased approach to reopening economic and social life.
    • [ Event Details ]
    • On Monday May 4th, the Governor planned to extend the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation through Sunday May 31st. At publication time, there were no indications that a public engagement would be arranged for this purpose. It was also unclear what effect the extension of the core “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation would have on the recently renewed ancillary proclamations also set to expire on Monday.
    • In his address, Inslee described four phases for “Reopening Business and Modifying Physical Distancing Measures” and stated there would be a minimum of 3 weeks between phases to assess progress. Under those conditions, Phase 4 could not be achieved before mid-July at the earliest.
    • Ten counties with “lower numbers of cases and deaths” could be allowed to jump to Phase 2 sooner with the approval of the Washington State Department of Health (DOH): Columbia, Garfield, Jefferson, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Wahkiakum, Kittitas, Ferry, Grays Harbor.
    • The Office of the Governor announced the availability of a COVID-19 Risk Assessment Dashboard, updated weekly on Wednesdays, describing five high level indicators used to help assess shifts to next phases of reopening. Contemporary data perspectives can be gleaned from the Governor’s press conference presentation and the DOH COVID-19 data dashboard.

Tuesday May 5th

On Tuesday at 10am PT, the weekly Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Board Caucus was scheduled to recur.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • The Board last convened in caucus on Tuesday April 28th. At publication time, the last time the Board physically met in-person was Tuesday March 10th.
  • Last Tuesday, WSLCB Policy and Rules Manager Kathy Hoffman indicated that formal public engagements for agency rulemaking processes would begin anew in May - and be entirely virtual hosted through the WebEx platform. Previously planned listen and learn forums would be rescheduled for mid-May and the agency anticipated hosting its first regularly scheduled Board Meeting on May 27th.

Wednesday May 6th

On Wednesday at 1:30pm PT, the three-member Board and agency leadership were scheduled to convene their weekly WSLCB Executive Management Team (EMT) meeting.

Thursday May 7th

On Thursday at 10am PT, the bi-weekly WSLCB Marijuana Traceability Project (MTP) Integrator Work Session was scheduled to recur.