The Week Ahead
(January 31, 2022)

WA Legislature - 2022 Cutoff Calendar

Policy committees rushed to recommend legislation ahead of the initial cutoff deadline on February 3rd, including bills on retail safety, cannabinoid regulation, and social equity.

Here’s a look at cannabis-related policymaking events on the calendar in the week ahead.

Monday January 31st

WA Senate LAW - Committee Meeting

On Monday at 9:30am PT, the Washington State Senate Law and Justice Committee (WA Senate LAW) planned to convene.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • Public Hearing
    • SB 5927 - "Concerning the safety and security of retail cannabis outlets."
      • Introduced late in the session as a companion to HB 2029, this Republican bill gained a Democratic co-sponsor in the senate and was scheduled to be fast-tracked through its policy committee in advance of the corresponding house of origin cutoff on February 3rd.
      • According to documentation seen by Cannabis Observer, there have been over 100 armed robberies of cannabis retail shops since 2017, including 27 incidents in 2022. The frequency and violence of events seems to be increasing.
      • The bill as written does not address what many regard as the fundamental underlying issue of banking the cash-only cannabis sector. Meanwhile, Republican proponents of the companion bill in the house seemed to want to leverage the rise in violence to resist shrinking buffer zones to create space for new social equity businesses. However, concerns about the safety of children in the vicinity might be overplayed considering the data indicates the vast majority of robberies take place at night. Perhaps legislators should be more concerned about the very real public safety issue confronting young budtenders and adult customers of cannabis shops as a direct result of government policies.

Tuesday February 1st

WA House COG - Committee Meeting

On Tuesday at 8am PT, the Washington State House Commerce and Gaming Committee (WA House COG) planned to convene.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • Public Hearing
    • HB 1667 - “Concerning ownership of cannabis-related businesses.”
      • The out-of-state ownership bill was scheduled to receive its initial policy committee public hearing, but was not scheduled for an executive session at publication time.

WSLCB - Board Caucus

On Tuesday at 10am PT, the weekly Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Board Caucus was scheduled to recur.

WA Senate AWNP - Committee Meeting

On Tuesday at 1:30pm PT, the Washington State Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources, and Parks Committee (WA Senate AWNP) planned to convene.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • Public Hearing
    • SB 5951 - "Concerning agricultural hemp products to ensure the safe implementation of Washington state's industrial hemp program."
      • This late arriving bill, only introduced last week by Bob Hasegawa, ostensibly aims to enforce truth in advertising laws on CBD products.  However, the bill seeks to do so by encoding a definition for “impairing” cannabinoids cribbed directly from SB 5767, the Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA) cannabinoid regulation bill which Hasegawa co-sponsored.

Wednesday February 2nd

WSLCB - Board Meeting

On Wednesday at 10am PT, the bi-weekly WSLCB Board Meeting was scheduled to recur.

WA Senate LCTA - Committee Meeting

On Wednesday at 10:30am PT, the Washington State Senate Labor, Commerce, and Tribal Affairs Committee (WA Senate LCTA) planned to convene.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • Executive Session
    •  SB 5547 - "Expanding regulatory authority over cannabinoids that may be impairing and providing for enhanced product safety and consumer information disclosure about marijuana products."

Thursday February 3rd

WA Legislature - House of Origin Policy Committee Cutoff

Thursday February 3rd is the first deadline for (most) bills to be recommended out of their house of origin policy committees.

WA House COG - Committee Meeting

On Thursday at 10am PT, the WA House COG planned to convene.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • Executive Session
    • HB 1855 - “Concerning a craft cannabis endorsement.”
    • HB 2022 - “Concerning social equity in the cannabis industry.”

WA Senate LAW - Committee Meeting

On Thursday at 10:30am PT, the WA Senate LAW planned to convene.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • Executive Session
    • SB 5927 - "Concerning the safety and security of retail cannabis outlets."

WA Senate AWNP - Committee Meeting

On Thursday at 1:30pm PT, the WA Senate AWNP planned to convene.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • Executive Session
    • SB 5951 - "Concerning agricultural hemp products to ensure the safe implementation of Washington state's industrial hemp program."

Friday February 4th

WA Pharmacy Commission - Legislative Review

On Friday at 12pm PT, the weekly Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission (WA Pharmacy Commission) Legislative Review was scheduled to recur.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • During session, the WA Pharmacy Commission hosts legislative review meetings which are open to the public where commissioners and staff discuss bills and decide on positioning/action.

2022 WA Legislative Session

The short session of the 2021-22 biennium began on Monday January 10th, 2022. Inactive cannabis-related bills from the 2021 session were re-introduced in their house of origin and the House and Senate convened multiple public hearings during the first three weeks of the short session. Thursday February 3rd is the first deadline for (most) bills to be recommended out of their house of origin policy committees.

Budget-Related Legislation - Active (2)

HB 1816 - “Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (4): Timm Ormsby, Mia Gregorson, et al
  • Companion: SB 5693
  • Previous Step: public hearing in WA House APP (Jan 10)

SB 5693 - “Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (3): Christine Rolfes, Linda Wilson, et al
  • Companion: HB 1816
  • Previous Step: public hearing in WA Senate WM (Jan 11)

Cannabis-Related Legislation - Active (25)

HB 1019 - “Allowing residential marijuana agriculture.”

HB 1105 - “Concerning arrest protections for the medical use of cannabis.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (12): Shelley Kloba, et al
  • Previous Step: returned to WA House RUL (Apr 25, 2021)
  • Previous Step: calendared in WA House (Jan 25)
  • Previous Step: third reading in WA House (Jan 26)
  • Next Step: pro forma introduction in WA Senate and referral to committee

HB 1210 - “Replacing the term ‘marijuana’ with the term ‘cannabis’ throughout the Revised Code of Washington.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (14): Melanie Morgan, et al
  • Previous Step: executive session in WA House COG (Jan 14)
  • Next Step: calendaring in WA House

HB 1414 - “Aligning marijuana licensing decisions by the liquor and cannabis board with local zoning ordinances.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (2): Keith Goehner, Kelly Chambers
  • Previous Step: public hearing in WA House COG (Feb 2, 2021)
  • Next Step: executive session in WA House COG

HB 1463 - “Addressing serious mental health consequences of high-potency cannabis products by regulating the sale of cannabis concentrates.”

HB 1667 - “Concerning ownership of cannabis-related businesses.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors: Sharon Wylie
  • Previous Step: pro forma introduction and assignment to WA House COG (Jan 10)
  • Next Step: public hearing in WA House COG (Feb 1)
  • This bill as written intends to minimally and directly enable out-of-state ownership. The bill language was composed by Lukas Hunter of Harmony Farms drawing from his experience as a WSLCB staffer and in subsequent consultation with WSLCB staff. The bill would establish a 10% ownership threshold to initiate more thorough WSLCB vetting. For investigation of out-of-state owners, the bill would provide WSLCB staff with discretion to assess additional fees.
  • Meanwhile, the out-of-state ownership lawsuit brought by Todd Brinkmeyer was resolved in Thurston County Superior Court in July, and taken up again in federal court in November. Both parties have committed to filing their respective motions for summary judgment by February 1st. Responses and replies will be finished by mid-March. We're likely to see oral arguments and a decision after that.

HB 1668 - “Expanding regulatory authority over cannabinoids that may be impairing and providing for enhanced product safety and consumer information disclosure about marijuana products.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Requested By: WSLCB
  • Sponsors (3): Shelley Kloba, Sharon Wylie, et al
  • Companion: SB 5547
  • Previous Step: executive session in WA House COG (Jan 25)
  • Next Step: public hearing in WA House APP
  • One of two highly anticipated agency request bills from WSLCB, this bill would grant the board broad authority to regulate all “cannabinoids that may be impairing.” In crafting that authority, this 20-page bill would rewrite many fundamental definitions underpinning the Initiative 502 marketplace.

HB 1710 - “Establishing a Washington state cannabis commission.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (4): Sharon Shewmake, et al
  • Previous Step: executive session in WA House COG (Jan 20)
  • Next Step: public hearing in WA House APP
  • An evolution of SB 5365

HB 1827 - “Creating the community reinvestment account and community reinvestment program.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Requested By: WA Governor
  • Sponsors (5): Melanie Morgan, et al
  • Companion: SB 5706
  • Previous Step: executive session in WA House CED (Jan 21)
  • Previous Step: executive session in WA House CED (Jan 25)
  • Next Step: public hearing in WA House APP

HB 1855 - “Concerning a craft cannabis endorsement.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (5): Emily Wicks, Laurie Dolan, et al
  • Previous Step: public hearing in WA House COG (Jan 14)
  • Postponed Step: executive session in WA House COG (Jan 25)
  • Next Step: executive session in WA House COG (Feb 3)
  • An evolution of HB 1260

HB 1859 - “Concerning quality standards for laboratories conducting cannabis analysis.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Requested By: WSDA, WSLCB
  • Sponsors (4): Shelley Kloba, Kelly Chambers, et al
  • Companion: SB 5699
  • Previous Step: executive session in WA House COG (Jan 28)
  • Next Step: public hearing in WA House APP

HB 1933 - “Authorizing smaller local governments with a scarcity of manufacturing and industrial lands to establish a tax on cannabis producers and processors.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (3): Emily Wicks, Carolyn Eslick, et al
  • Previous Step: public hearing in WA House FIN (Jan 25)
  • Next Step: executive session in WA House FIN
  • This bill would authorize narrowly defined jurisdictions with populations under 50K to impose an excise tax on producer and/or processor sales of up to 1%.

HB 2022 - “Concerning social equity in the cannabis industry.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (13): Emily Wicks, Jesse Johnson, et al
  • Previous Step: public hearing in WA House COG (Jan 28)
  • Next Step: executive session in WA House COG (Feb 3)
  • This bill expresses many recommendations of the Washington State Legislative Task Force on Social Equity in Cannabis (WA SECTF).

HB 2029 - “Concerning the safety and security of retail cannabis outlets.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (3): Kelly Chambers, Eric Robertson, et al
  • Companion: SB 5927
  • Previous Step: pro forma introduction and assignment to WA House PS (Jan 18)
  • Next Step: public hearing in WA House PS

HB 2035 - “Establishing a behavioral health prevention and equity impact framework for the Washington state liquor and cannabis board.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (13): Lauren Davis, Javier Valdez, et al
  • Previous Step: public hearing in WA House COG (Jan 25)
  • Next Step: executive session in WA House COG
  • This lengthy bill runs to 22 pages of largely new sections which describe an admirable framework for equity impact assessment - questionably married to a behavioral health agenda requiring formal consideration, engagement, and guidance from prevention community advocates at the inception of every "significant agency action." Consideration of "behavioral health prevention and equity impact" would be incorporated into the agency's strategic plan, a new community engagement plan, new impact assessments, agency budget development, mandatory reporting requirements, and a tribal consultation policy. A health disparities map managed by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) would incorporate WSLCB data, while the 15 members of a new “Behavioral Health Prevention and Equity Impact Council” would be appointed by the Secretary of the Washington State Health Care Authority (WA HCA), the home of the Division for Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) and the obscure Prevention Research Subcommittee (PRSC).

SB 5004 - “Providing a tax exemption for medical marijuana patients.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (8): Karen Keiser, et al
  • Previous Step: returned to WA Senate RULE (Apr 25, 2021)
  • Previous Step: placed in WA Senate X-File (Jan 10)
  • Previous Step: returned to WA Senate RULE (Jan 11)
  • Previous Step: pulled to WA Senate by Annette Cleveland (Jan 14)
  • Previous Step: second and third reading in WA Senate (Jan 19)
  • Previous Step: pro forma introduction and referral to WA House FIN (Jan 24)
  • Next Step: public hearing in WA House FIN

SB 5517 - “Concerning employment of individuals who lawfully consume cannabis.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (11): Karen Keiser, Rebecca Saldaña, et al
  • Previous Step: public hearing in WA Senate LCTA (Jan 19)
  • Postponed Step: executive session in WA Senate LCTA (Jan 26)
  • Next Step: executive session in WA Senate LCTA
  • With some exceptions, this bill would make it unlawful to refuse to hire or fire an employee should the results of a drug screening test indicate the presence of cannabis.

SB 5547 - “Expanding regulatory authority over cannabinoids that may be impairing and providing for enhanced product safety and consumer information disclosure about marijuana products.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Requested By: WSLCB
  • Sponsors (6): Karen Keiser, Mark Schoesler, et al
  • Companion: HB 1668
  • Previous Step: public hearing in WA Senate LCTA (Jan 20)
  • Next Step: executive session in WA Senate LCTA (Feb 2)

SB 5671 - “Modifying the composition of the Washington state liquor and cannabis board.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (5): Derek Stanford, Ann Rivers, et al
  • Previous Step: public hearing in WA Senate LCTA (Jan 19)
  • Next Step: executive session in WA Senate LCTA
  • WSLCB board members publicly discussed this bill on December 14th, which Chair Postman noted sought to change “the board of the LCB, and rather than just the three of us, would expand it” to a total of five board members and “four legislators as ex officio members.” WSLCB board members asserted the Washington CannaBusiness Association was behind the bill.
  • In 2019, Senator Karen Keiser introduced SB 5296 ("Concerning the liquor and cannabis board") which, among other things, would have increased the board to 5 members and added 2 ex-officio legislator members (the chairs of WA House COG and WA Senate LCTA). That bill seems to have been driven by alcohol interests judging by its content and was not taken up after recommendation by WA Senate LCTA.

SB 5699 - “Concerning quality standards for laboratories conducting cannabis analysis.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Requested By: WSDA, WSLCB
  • Sponsors (2): Steve Conway, Derek Stanford
  • Companion: HB 1859
  • Previous Step: executive session in WA Senate LCTA (Jan 26)
  • Next Step: public hearing in WA Senate WM

SB 5706 - “Creating the community reinvestment account and community reinvestment program.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Requested By: WA Governor
  • Sponsors (6): Rebecca Saldaña, et al
  • Companion: HB 1827
  • Previous Step: public hearing in WA Senate LCTA (Jan 19)
  • Previous Step: executive session in WA Senate LCTA (Jan 26)
  • Next Step: public hearing in WA Senate WM

SB 5767 - “Regulating hemp-derived cannabinoids.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (3): Derek Stanford, Ann Rivers, et al
  • Previous Step: public hearing in WA Senate LCTA (Jan 20)
  • Next Step: executive session in WA Senate LCTA

SB 5796 - “Restructuring cannabis revenue appropriations.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (5): Rebecca Saldaña, et al
  • Previous Step: executive session in WA Senate LCTA (Jan 26)
  • Next Step: public hearing in WA Senate WM

SB 5927 - “Concerning the safety and security of retail cannabis outlets.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsor (2): Jim Honeyford, et al
  • Companion: HB 2029
  • Previous Step: pro forma introduction and assignment to WA Senate LAW (Jan 21)
  • Next Step: public hearing in WA Senate LAW (Jan 31)
  • Next Step: executive session in WA Senate LAW (Feb 3)
  • This bill would require retailers to report robberies to WSLCB, and the WSLCB Director of Enforcement and Education would be asked to subsequently confer with the Washington State Patrol (WSP). The bill would equate robberies of cannabis retailers with robberies of pharmacies, leveraging the system of "special allegations" and "special verdicts" to enhance sentencing in the criminal justice system.
  • The intent of the bill is similar to 2020 legislation, SB 6033 (“Concerning the safety and security of retail marijuana outlets”) which was granted a policy committee hearing. That bill asked state and local law enforcement to report cannabis retail robberies, which elicited concerned testimony by a representative of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC).

NEW: SB 5951 - “Concerning agricultural hemp products to ensure the safe implementation of Washington state's industrial hemp program.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (2): Bob Hasegawa, et al
  • Previous Step: pro forma introduction and assignment to WA Senate AWNP (Jan 26)
  • Next Step: public hearing in WA Senate AWNP (Feb 1)
  • Next Step: executive session in WA Senate AWNP (Feb 3)
  • While making it a violation of the Consumer Protection Act to sell CBD products which do not contain the cannabinoids advertised, the bill would also encode definitions cribbed from SB 5767, the WACA cannabinoid regulation bill, for "Class A Cannabinoid" ("impairing cannabinoid" in SB 5767) and "Class B Cannabinoid" (everything else). Hasegawa was the third and only co-sponsor of 5767 beyond Stanford and Rivers.

Cannabis-Related Legislation - Inactive (3)

HB 1260 - “Concerning the development of the marijuana market.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (11): Emily Wicks, et al
  • Last Step: pro forma first reading and referral to WA House COG (Jan 18, 2021)
  • Subsumed by HB 1855

SB 5035 - “Concerning offender scoring of drug offenses.”

  • [ Legislation ]
  • Sponsors (18): Manka Dhingra, et al
  • Previous Step: returned to WA Senate RULE (Apr 25, 2021)
  • Last Step: Placed in WA Senate X-file (Jan 10)

SB 5365 - “Establishing a Washington state cannabis commission.”