WA Senate LAW - Executive Session
(April 2, 2019) - HB 1792

On Tuesday April 2nd, the Senate Law and Justice Committee hosted an executive session for HB 1792, “Concerning criminal penalties applicable to licensed marijuana retailers and employees of marijuana retail outlets.”

  • The Senate Law and Justice Committee considered changing HB 1792 during executive session.
    • Shani Bauer, Senior Staff Counsel, briefed committee members on amendment 1792 AMS LAW S3470.1 from Ranking Member Mike Padden (audio – 2m, video):
      • Makes it a felony for an employee of a retail outlet located in any county of the state that borders Idaho to sell marijuana to an unauthorized person under the age of 21.
      • Committee Chair Jamie Pedersen asked if there was a “scienter requirement” or if the amendment maintained “strict liability.” Bauer answered “it returns it to the felony provisions, there’s certain exceptions when they would be excepted from [Controlled Substances Act (CSA)] and when the gross misdemeanor would apply” but that there wasn’t a scienter requirement.
  • Padden claimed his amendment was “unique to counties on the Idaho border” and that his district’s retailers were “chasing the [Idaho] customers.” “We know,” he said. Padden continued, “I’m sure everybody here realizes that marijuana is many times consumed in Idaho illegally, and I’m sure sold in Idaho. And the amount of business is tremendous that these three shops are doing, they’re making a lot of money.” Padden concluded the “unique situation where it’s located” justified “maintaining current law for that area” (audio – 3m, video).
  • Vice Chair Manka Dhingra said “I understand the problem,” but had “constitutional concerns” over differing penalties. She noted the bill language made no mention of out-of-state sales. Padden admitted “you may have a point” and asked Dhingra to consider language his staff was crafting for a floor amendment.
  • Following a voice vote, the amendment was not adopted.
  • The unchanged bill was granted a “do pass” recommendation by voice vote and referred to the Senate Rules Committee.