WA Legislature - Sine Die Approaches
(April 26, 2019)

11 cannabis-related bills are on their way to the Governor’s desk before the end of the regular session on Sunday.

Sunday April 28th is the last day of Washington’s regular legislative session, traditionally called Sine Die. The Legislative Information Center’s “Guide to Lawmaking” describes it this way: “Sine Die is a longstanding tradition in the legislature that either occurs when both chambers are completely finished with legislative business or at midnight on the last day of session, whichever happens first.” Special legislative sessions called by Governor Jay Inslee have been common in recent years and there does appear to be a substantial difference between the House and Senate budget bills.

During the 2019 session, Cannabis Observer has summarized legislative activity on cannabis-related bills including the house of origin, committee report, and opposite house cutoffs. We’ve tracked eleven cannabis-related bills which remain active this session, winnowed down from more than fifty bills introduced.

Once passed by both chambers, bills must be formally signed by the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate before Governor Inslee signs legislation into law or vetoes all or part of them. Bills passed during a session must be acted upon by the Governor within five days, except bills passed within five days of adjournment which have 20 days to receive executive action. Should the Governor take no action within this time, the bill becomes law without a signature. The Office of the Governor’s bill action page lists scheduled executive actions and actions previously taken. Legislative Support Services offers official photos of bill signings.

Here are some observations of the cannabis-related bills passed by both chambers of the Washington State Legislature and on their way to the Governor’s desk.

  • SB 5318 – “Reforming the compliance and enforcement provisions for marijuana licensees.”
    • See Cannabis Observer’s summaries of the committee report cutoff and opposite house cutoff.
    • On Tuesday April 23rd, the Senate concurred with the House amendments. Read the Final Bill Report.
    • On Thursday April 25th, the Senate President Cyrus Habib and Speaker of the House Frank Chopp signed the bill. Read the Bill as Passed Legislature.
    • SB 5318 has been a hot topic throughout the industry, in the legislature, and at the WSLCB. Read WSLCB Director Rick Garza’s comments on SB 5318 during a recent Board Caucus.
  • SB 5605 – “Concerning misdemeanor marijuana offense convictions.”
    • See Cannabis Observer’s summaries of the committee report cutoff and opposite house cutoff.
    • On Friday April 19th, the Senate refused to concur with the House amendments.
    • On Tuesday April 23rd, the House receded from their previous amendments and adopted a revised amendment from Representative Roger Goodman, 5605 AMH GOOD H2997.1.
    • After amending, rules were suspended and the House passed the bill with 67 yeas, 29 nays, and two absent or excused.
    • At publication time, SB 5605 had been returned to its house of origin and was awaiting action on the Senate concurrence calendar. Read the new Senate Bill Report.
  • SB 5276 – “Authorizing hemp production in conformance with the agriculture improvement act of 2018.”
    • Last week, Cannabis Observer was surprised to see HB 1401, the House version of the hemp bill, reanimated, whereas the week before it seemed SB 5276 was the preferred hemp vehicle. However, as we’ve witnessed multiple times this session, public access and visibility into “inside games” at the legislature is limited. This week, SB 5276 made it through the opposite chamber.
    • On Tuesday April 23rd, the House adopted and engrossed changes by the Appropriations Committee, which subsumed earlier changes from the Commerce and Gaming Committee. Then, the House adopted a floor amendment from Representative Derek Stanford, 5276-S2.E AMH STAN H3038.1.
      • Removes certain provisions regarding authorized hemp food products within the new commercial hemp program while retaining the requirement that the Washington State Department of Agriculture must regulate the processing of hemp for food products, that are allowable under federal law, in the same manner as other food processing.
      • Removes the prohibition in the existing Industrial Hemp Research Program on processing industrial hemp as food or other preparations for topical use, oral consumption, or inhalation by humans, instead of creating an exception to this prohibition. (The entirety of the existing Industrial Hemp Research Program is still repealed effective January 1, 2020, pursuant to section 15 of the act).
      • Removes the null and void clause.
    • The House suspended its rules and passed the legislation with 89 yeas, 7 nays, and two absent or excused.
    • On Wednesday April 24th, the Senate concurred with the House changes and the President signed the bill. Read the Final Bill Report.
    • On Thursday April 25th, the House Speaker signed the legislation and it was officially delivered to the Governor. Read the Bill as Passed Legislature.
  • SB 5298 – “Regarding labeling of marijuana products.”
  • HB 2052 – “Clarifying marijuana product testing by revising provisions concerning marijuana testing laboratory accreditation and establishing a cannabis science task force.”
  • HB 1792 – “Concerning criminal penalties applicable to licensed marijuana retailers and employees of marijuana retail outlets.”
  • HB 1794 – “Concerning agreements between licensed marijuana businesses and other people and businesses, including royalty and licensing agreements relating to the use of intellectual property.”
  • HB 1094 – “Establishing compassionate care renewals for medical marijuana qualifying patients.”
  • HB 1095 – “Concerning the administration of marijuana to students for medical purposes.”
  • HB 1415 – “Modifying funding of the medical marijuana authorization database.”
  • HB 1430 – “Concerning the licensing and enforcement system modernization project account.”