The Week Ahead
(January 27, 2020)

Five cannabis-related bills were scheduled for consideration in four committee meetings and the WSLCB Board will likely receive its first legislative update of the session.

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

Tuesday January 28th

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

  • [ Event Details ]
  • Following an executive session including WSLCB Director of Human Resources Claris Nnanabu, the Board publicly convenes at 11am PT.
  • Nnanabu was present for the Board’s training by the Washington State Executive Ethics Board (EEB) on January 14th. Cannabis Observer subsequently obtained additional detail from EEB Executive Director Kate Reynolds, the presentation slidedeck, and other documents available at the link.

On Tuesday at 3:30pm PT, the Washington State House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee (WA House LAWS) was scheduled to host a public hearing for one cannabis-related bill, HB 2740 - “Concerning the employment of individuals who lawfully consume marijuana.”

  • [ Event Details ]
  • The bill, sponsored by Representative Shelly Kloba, would make it “unlawful for any employer in this state to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because the prospective employee submitted to a screening test and the results of the screening test indicate the presence of marijuana.
  • There are exceptions for a small number of types of employment (firefighters, emergency medical technicians) and employers who depend on federal benefits.

Wednesday January 29th

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

  • [ Event Details ]
  • The EMT agenda, which was posted and subsequently removed from the WSLCB website, indicated the Board would receive its first update about the legislative session from the agency’s Director of Legislative Relations, Chris Thompson.
  • Besides the agency’s request legislation on THC vapor products (HB 2826, SB 6579) filed in coordination with the Governor’s request legislation on non-THC vapor products (HB 2454, SB 6254), Thompson would be able to discuss the status of the agency’s original request legislation intended to assist small producers and establish a social equity program. Both bills and their companions were introduced on Friday January 24th after being delayed for months by the Governor’s office.
    • HB 2871 (Kirby), SB 6603 (Keiser) - “Establishing a retail privilege endorsement to a marijuana producer license.”
    • HB 2870 (Pettigrew), SB 6604 (Keiser) - “Allowing additional marijuana retail licenses for social equity purposes.”

Thursday January 30th

On Thursday at 8am PT, the Washington State House Commerce and Gaming Committee (WA House COG) planned to host public hearings for three cannabis-related bills, including one of the most controversial public health bills of the session.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • HB 2359 - “Creating a certificate of compliance for marijuana business premises that meet the statutory qualifications at the time of application.” This was the “location compliance” bill presented by the Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA) at the December 17th WSLCB Cannabis Advisory Council meeting.
  • HB 2546 - “Concerning the potency of marijuana products.” Public opinion on the controversial “10% THC concentrates” bill will be heard. Representative Kloba has introduced an amendment which would enable all patients, including those who do not elect to be documented in the patient registry, to purchase concentrates with a THC concentration higher than 10%.
  • HB 2726 - “Regarding marijuana-infused edible products.” Representative Steve Tharinger’s bill would enable processors to create “Marijuana-infused edible products that, in order to remain shelf stable, require refrigeration, freezing, retorting, or pasteurization.

On Thursday at 8am PT, the Washington State House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee (WA House LAWS) planned to conduct an executive session on HB 2740 - “Concerning the employment of individuals who lawfully consume marijuana.”

  • [ Event Details ]
  • The WA House LAWS schedule could change depending on outcomes from the public hearing for the bill on Tuesday January 28th.

On Thursday at 8am PT, the Washington State House Public Safety Committee (WA House PS) planned to conduct an executive session on HB 2375 - “Concerning tableting and encapsulating machines and controlled substance imitation materials.”

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

On Thursday at a TBD time, the Department of Ecology (DOE) Cannabis Science Task Force (CSTF) Steering Committee was scheduled to convene.

Friday January 31st

On Friday at 12pm PT, the Cannabis Observer Legislative Meetup was scheduled to recur.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • Throughout the 2020 session, Cannabis Observer is convening a cannabis-related legislative meetup on Friday afternoons from noon to 2pm. The meetup provides a networking and information sharing context for lobbyists, legislative staff, advocates, and ideally legislators interested in discussing the progress of cannabis-related bills active at the legislature.