WA Governor - Bill Action
(May 16, 2023) - SB 5200

The capital budget included $5M for soil cleanup added late in the process in order to help agricultural sectors—including cannabis licensees—in north central Washington.

Here are some observations from the Tuesday May 16th Washington State Office of the Governor (WA Governor) Bill Action.

My top 3 takeaways:

  • Though not explicitly mentioned during the signing, Inslee made a partial veto of the capital budget that had no effect on section 3038 and the budgets would take effect on July 1, 2023—even as more voluntary cannabis recalls related to pesticides were announced.
    • As explained in the Guide to Lawmaking: “Actual line-item vetoes are only permitted in the budget. In order for the Legislature to override a veto, a two-thirds majority vote is necessary in both chambers.” Inslee’s partial veto of the budget had no impact on the remediation project.
    • As a July 2019 document on the budget process noted, the biennial budgets take effect at the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1st.
    • The following day, May 17th, WSLCB posted four new recalls which had been made in addition to five others announced in early April. All four licensed producers had “certain products” recalled due to “Pesticide action levels above WSLCB requirements,” though the pesticide wasn’t disclosed. None of the facilities facing recalls were located in Okanogan County, which was specified in the pilot program language, and instead were from cities located in Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties.
      • May 2nd - Mt. Baker Homegrown, LLC
      • May 5th - Banano Buds
        • The type of recall for this company was left blank, while all others were licensee initiated recalls, also termed a “voluntary recall” by WSLCB staff.
      • May 9th - Mutual Benefit Agriculture, LLC and WAWD, LLC
      • It's Cannabis Observer's understanding that extracts from some of the usable cannabis products impacted by the DDx administrative hold were sold to other licensees prior to the WSLCB Enforcement investigation. It's possible that these licensees which have voluntarily implemented recalls may have purchased those extracts at wholesale for incorporation into their own products. If true, then these vendors may counterintuitively be some of the more responsible actors in the sector taking action to protect their customers despite the potential for impacts to their brand reputations. It's our understanding that the actual distribution of extracts which concentrate DDx contaminants is more widespread than has thus far been publicly acknowledged by WSLCB staff.

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