Cannabis enthusiasts around the world reconsidered the meaning of 420 during a pandemic spread by social contact, as regulators and trade associations discouraged public gatherings.
Here’s a look at cannabis-related policymaking events on Cannabis Observer’s calendars in the week ahead.
Monday April 20th
On Monday, cannabis enthusiasts around the world would reconsider the meaning of 420 during a pandemic spread by social contact, as regulatory agencies and trade associations actively discouraged public gatherings.
- Ever since “the Waldos” began furtively confirming their intentions to meet after school at the Louis Pasteur statue on the San Rafael High School campus at 4:20pm before piling into a 1966 Chevy Impala to seek a hidden cannabis grow indicated on a “treasure map,” the term 420 (or 4:20 or 4/20) had taken on global significance as one of many codes for coordinating social consumption of cannabis - still a widely prohibited activity in most parts of the world. This year’s annual celebration on April 20th would be different, as all things continued becoming more different in the post-COVID-19 world.
- In addition to the intrinsically social nature of the 420 phenomenon, its countercultural threads had been woven over years into tapestries of protest for the liberation of the plant and the people. The unusual conditions of this year demanded a novel choice of would-be celebrants: to what degree can and would one honor social distancing constraints while celebrating 420 under threat of COVID-19 contagion?
- The countercultural forces amassing against continued State-mandated social distancing constraints, encouraged by the U.S. President and a major media network, spilled out in collective protest around the country this past weekend. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee derided the President’s remarks as “fomenting domestic rebellion and spreading lies” and was unmoved by a substantial public gathering at the State capital in Olympia on Sunday April 19th.
- The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) issued a bulletin on “4-20 and Social Distancing” on April 10th to “share some risk management ideas to encourage compliance with the Governor’s Proclamations.”
- The Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA) sent a 3-part email series to its newsletter subscribers claiming “The spotlight is on the cannabis industry” while repeating “Don’t let 4/20 close the doors on cannabis,” establishing their concern about the essential business designation of the cannabis supply chain.
- The Cannabis Alliance posted a “4/20 Edition” newsletter stating, “The usual puff, puff, pass has become puff, puff, bogart. We need to help keep our industry's image as an industry as good as it has been during this difficult time, So please do not hold or promote in-person, group 4/20 events!”
- The Washington SunGrowers Industry Association (WSIA) planned to host a “Zoom Social Hour” for its members at 4:20pm.
Tuesday April 21st
On Tuesday, the weekly Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Board Caucus was cancelled.
- [ Event Details ]
- The Board last convened in caucus on Tuesday April 14th. At publication time, the last time the Board physically met in-person was Tuesday March 10th.
- Governor Jay Inslee’s Proclamation 20-28 issued on March 24th temporarily modified the Open Public Meetings Act to prohibit agencies from conducting in-person public meetings through April 23rd. Inslee’s Proclamation 20-25.1 issued on April 2nd extended his Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation’s constraints on public movement through May 4th. And as WSLCB “Headquarters Building is currently CLOSED to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” the agency will not convene a public meeting in person for the foreseeable future.
Wednesday April 22nd
On Wednesday, the weekly WSLCB Executive Management Team (EMT) meeting has been cancelled.
- [ Event Details ]
- The last ten regularly scheduled EMT meetings have been cancelled. The EMT last convened on Wednesday February 12th.
Thursday April 23rd
On Thursday at 10am PT, the bi-weekly WSLCB Marijuana Traceability Project (MTP) Integrator Work Session was scheduled to recur.
- [ Event Details ]
- After requesting agenda items on Friday March 23rd for an upcoming meeting, WSLCB Systems Administrator Sydney Jensen followed up to announce: “Update, per [WSLCB CIO] Mary [Mueller] the next two integrator meetings will be cancelled. Therefore, the next scheduled meeting will be on 4/23/2020.”