WSLCB - Executive Management Team
(March 28, 2018) - Summary

Board members had an executive session on litigation against the agency, heard about progress towards implementing a retail license forfeiture program, and discussed a recent trip to Washington D.C. which included WSLCB leadership.

Here are some observations from the Wednesday March 28th Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Executive Management Team meeting.

But first, mea culpa: I was late arriving to this meeting and missed the majority of the update from the Licensing division.  I can’t say it won’t happen again, but I feel this mistake poignantly and have recommitted to always arrive early.

My top 3 takeaways:

  • The EMT met privately in executive session with two Assistant Attorneys General regarding “Discussion of Pending and Potential Litigation with Legal Counsel.”  I have speculated before (Mar 6) that these discussions could be regarding the Superior Court of Washington State ruling in favor of Kittitas County.
  • Licensing and Regulation Director Becky Smith and Licensing Supervisor Kaitlin Leeberg briefed the EMT on progress towards implementing the retail license forfeiture program and work on the queue of license applications (incomplete transcript, audio).
  • Director Rick Garza and Member Russ Hauge described their trip to Washington, D.C. (transcript, audio).
    • Chief Justin Nordhorn accompanied them but was not present at the EMT meeting.  Other participants mentioned included:
      • WaCA
      • Logan Bowers from CORE.  Regarding CORE, Russ stated: “…they’ve formally affiliated now, WaCA and CORE.”
      • “…vetted people from Alaska and Washington who have been in the business, who are making a go of it, and who were not scary looking at all.” (Russ)
      • The CEO of Salal Credit Union
      • “the Weavers from Yakima” (Russ)
    • Over three days, the group conducted 18 meetings and presentations with federal officials including:
      • Members of the Washington State delegation
        • Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
        • Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)
        • Representative Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA)
        • Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
        • Representative Adam Smith (D-WA)
        • Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA)
        • A staffer from Representative Dave Reichert’s Office (R-WA)
      • Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK)
      • Representative Donald Young (R-AK)
      • Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)
      • Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
      • Representative Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA)
      • Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
    • Rick observed that sentiment has shifted in the last nine months since their last visit: “…they seem a lot more aware and educated around cannabis.”  Russ observed,”…nobody had any doubts that [federal cannabis legislation] would pass with a strong majority, a bipartisan majority, but leadership won’t let the bills go forward.