Washington state’s short legislative session begins today while the regulatory cadence at the WSLCB and Ecology continues apace.
Here’s a look at cannabis-related policymaking events on Cannabis Observer’s calendars in the week ahead.
We’ve added more robust descriptions of Events on our website, including available documents and engagement options for in-person participation as well as connecting by webinar, livestream, or phone when available. This year, we aim to provide better information more quickly to encourage community engagement in the legislative and regulatory processes that impact your businesses and lives.
Monday January 13th
Monday marks the beginning of the next session of the Washington State Legislature, the shorter session of the biennium scheduled for 60 days of legislative activity.
- Cannabis Observer continues to track around 25 cannabis-related bills introduced during the 2019 session which were not signed into law nor otherwise ran their course. We have uncertainty about the status of a few bills due to changes in representation at the legislature in the interim:
- Senator Guy Palumbo, a Democrat elected to represent the 1st Legislative District in 2016, resigned his position in May. Palumbo was the primary sponsor of three cannabis-related bills introduced during the 2019 session.
- Derek Stanford, the Chair of the House Commerce and Gaming Committee (COG) during the 2019 session also representing the 1st Legislative District, was appointed to occupy Palumbo’s Senate seat in July. Stanford was the primary sponsor of four cannabis-related bills introduced during the 2019 session, including two which were signed into law. In September, House Democrats announced the appointment of Strom Peterson as the new Chair of COG.
- Representative Kristine Reeves, the Co-Chair of COG during 2019, resigned in mid-December. Reeves was the primary sponsor of one cannabis-related bill introduced during the 2019 session. Last week, Reeves announced she would run for Denny Heck’s seat in Congress.
- Legislators began pre-filing bills for the 2020 session on December 1st and introduced 14 new cannabis-related bills as of Friday January 10th:
- HB 2199 - Concerning marijuana use in guest rooms of hotels, motels, and inns in violation of the owner or operator's rules (Klippert).
- HB 2247 - Aligning marijuana licensing decisions by the liquor and cannabis board with local zoning ordinances (Goehner).
- HB 2263 - Expanding opportunities for marijuana businesses by removing residency barriers and providing access to capital for minority and women-owned businesses through a fee on certain investments (Pettigrew).
- HB 2279 - Improving the development of the marijuana market by enacting provisions specific to craft cannabis production (Dolan).
- HB 2296 - Concerning the regulation of hemp, including products derived from hemp (MacEwan).
- HB 2300 - Authorizing marijuana retailers to sell cannabidiol products (MacEwan).
- HB 2350 - Preventing youth marijuana consumption by updating marijuana advertising requirements (Kirby).
- HB 2359 - Creating a certificate of compliance for marijuana business premises that meet the statutory qualifications at the time of application (Vick).
- HB 2361 - Concerning cannabis industry workplace standards (Peterson).
- SB 6033 - Concerning the safety and security of retail marijuana outlets (Keiser).
- SB 6057 - Concerning price differentials in the sale of marijuana (Stanford).
- SB 6085 - Expanding opportunities for marijuana businesses by removing residency barriers and providing access to capital for minority and women-owned businesses through a fee on certain investments (Stanford).
- SB 6089 - Creating a task force on marijuana odor (Warnick).
- SB 6206 - Creating a certificate of compliance for marijuana business premises that meet the statutory qualifications at the time of application (Rivers).
- After party caucus meetings on Monday morning, the House and Senate convene at noon and subsequently begin their first day of committee meetings.
Tuesday January 14th
On Tuesday at 10am PT @ WSLCB, the weekly board caucus was scheduled to recur.
Wednesday January 15th
On Wednesday at 1:30pm PT @ WSLCB, the three-member Board and agency leadership were scheduled to convene their weekly Executive Management Team (EMT) meeting.
Thursday January 16th
On Thursday at 8am PT @ the O’Brien Building, the Washington State House of Representatives Commerce and Gaming Committee planned to host public hearings on at least two new cannabis-related bills.
- HB 2263 - Expanding opportunities for marijuana businesses by removing residency barriers and providing access to capital for minority and women-owned businesses through a fee on certain investments.
- HB 2361 - Concerning cannabis industry workplace standards.
On Thursday at 10am PT @ WSLCB, the monthly Marijuana Traceability Project (MTP) Integrator Work Session was scheduled to recur.
- Third-party software providers last convened with the State on January 2nd where they learned more about the new contract amendment with seed-to-sale traceability vendor MJ Freeway.
- Last week, we noted that the Traceability Advisory Committee had not met since September. Cannabis Observer subsequently learned that the WSLCB Traceability Advisory Committee will not be reconvened. Instead:
- The WSLCB intends to continue hosting the Traceability 2.0 work group at least through March.
- A new technical advisory body was being formed to vet proposed changes to the traceability system.
- And a different kind of traceability advisory committee was said to be in the works.
- We were disappointed to learn after the fact that agency leadership presented what appeared to be a traceability project wrap up and lessons learned to the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) Technology Services Board (TSB) Portfolio/Policy Subcommittee on Thursday January 9th. The OCIO performs oversight of information technology projects throughout the state government including the Marijuana Traceability Project (MTP). Notably, WSLCB reported that MJ Freeway was required to pay the agency $265K to cover unbudgeted expenses and, with the move into subscription services, the State planned “Project Closeout” of the MTP on February 28th.
Friday January 17th
On Friday January 17th at noon PT @ the Department of Ecology, the Cannabis Science Task Force (CSTF) Steering Committee was scheduled to convene.
- The CSTF Steering Committee last convened on December 16th, at which time members anticipated scheduling an additional meeting in January to consider adoption of motions to maintain the initiative’s near-term timeline.
On Friday at noon PT @ Wagner’s European Bakery and Café just north of the capitol campus, the Cannabis Observer Legislative Meetup will recur.
- Throughout the 2020 session, Cannabis Observer is convening a cannabis-related legislative meetup on Friday afternoons from noon to 2pm. It’s our intention to provide a networking and information sharing context for lobbyists, legislative staff, advocates, and ideally legislators interested in discussing the progress of cannabis-related bills active at the legislature.