The Week Ahead
(July 20, 2020)

Besides the WSLCB Board Meeting, the Washington State Commission on African Affairs planned to convene and Chelan County Commissioners would consider a hemp moratorium.

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

Monday July 20th

On Monday, the staff of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) will be obligated to take an agency-wide furlough day in accordance with a cost-saving directive signed by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee on June 17th.

  • WSLCB leadership chose Mondays in July as the weekday when all employees would not work, and third Mondays when the cadence switches to once per month in August through November. See the agency’s furlough days on Cannabis Observer’s WSLCB calendar.
  • WSLCB Board Members Ollie Garrett and Russ Hauge were furloughing on Tuesdays, therefore the Board cannot achieve a quorum for its regularly scheduled weekly caucus on Tuesdays. This information was mentioned in the official notes for the June 30th WSLCB COVID Incident Command meeting, an internal 30 minute webinar hosted each weekday at 9am for agency leadership and Board Chair Jane Rushford.

On Monday, the WSLCB COVID Legal/Policy/Rules Meeting was cancelled.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • Agency staff leadership, Board Chair Jane Rushford, and Assistant Attorney General Bruce Turcott convene multiple times per week via webinar to discuss policy-related questions raised in the context of the pandemic.
  • Originally having met daily every work day, the schedule of meetings was shifted to 3x per week (M, W, F) on June 10th. Agency furloughs in July resulted in cancellation of the Monday meetings.

Tuesday July 21st

The weekly Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Board Caucus was cancelled.

On Tuesday at 8:45am PT, the Chelan County Board of County Commissioners were scheduled to convene.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • At 10:15am, the Board was scheduled to discuss and take action on a “Hemp Moratorium action item.”
  • Cannabis Observer extends its thanks to Washington SunGrowers Industry Association (WSIA) Executive Director Crystal Oliver for bringing this event to our attention. We’ll build out the Event screen as we confirm the remote meeting connection details.

Wednesday July 22nd

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

  • [ Event Details ]
  • The Board planned two cannabis-related rulemaking actions for Wednesday.
    • Rescission of Board Interim Policy (BIP) 13-2019 regarding unapproved traceability workarounds
    • Refiling an emergency rule establishing the Board’s authority to suspend licenses to implement any Governor’s Proclamation
  • The Board will also hear general public comment, but individuals must coordinate with WSLCB Executive Assistant Dustin Dickson to be granted an opportunity to speak.
    • Written summaries for General Comments are appreciated. Please submit your comments to One can also comment at the end of the meeting via WebEx. If you wish to speak to the Board during “General Public Comments”, you must e-mail before that agenda item begins, preferably by close-of-business on Tuesday, July 21. Dustin will provide additional instructions and a link to connect to the WebEx through your computer. Comments will be limited to four minutes per person.

On Wednesday at 10am PT, the WSLCB COVID Legal/Policy/Rules Meeting was scheduled to recur.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • As Cannabis Observer has no direct visibility into these policymaking meetings, we can only infer that the Board would not be represented at this particular meeting due to the overlap in schedule with the Board Meeting.

The weekly WSLCB Executive Management Team (EMT) meeting was cancelled.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • The last 23 regularly scheduled EMT meetings have been cancelled. The EMT last convened on Wednesday February 12th.
  • I asked the Board to bring back the EMT meetings during general public comment at the last Board Meeting on July 8th, one of three opportunities I suggested to enable the agency to demonstrate continued commitment to openness and transparency in our new era of digitally-mediated citizen engagement.
  • During the July 16th caucus, Board Chair Jane Rushford said “I feel it's important that we bring [EMTs] back.” She and Executive Assistant Dustin Dickson were “looking ahead to September” to refresh the EMT format, though she expected “we probably won’t do once a week, we don’t need to do that.” Nonetheless, Rushford expressed a need for “meaningful” meetings of WSLCB leadership. “So, more on that in a couple weeks” (audio - 2m).
  • The Board calendar was subsequently updated to reflect Chair Rushford’s commitment, and all EMT meetings through August have been cancelled. Should the Board renew hosting EMT meetings during the first week in September, the agency will have gone 28 consecutive weeks without convening its Executive Management Team.

Friday July 24th

On Friday at 10am PT, the WSLCB COVID Legal/Policy/Rules Meeting was scheduled to recur.

On Friday at 3pm PT, the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs (CAAA) was scheduled to convene.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • The Washington State Commission on African American Affairs (CAAA) serves as the official state representative of the African American community—advising the Governor, Legislature and state agencies regarding policy development and implementation. The Commission also works to establish relationships with local governments and private sector organizations that promote equal opportunity for African Americans. The Commission has one paid Executive Director and one paid Executive Assistant who work full-time for the Commission. The Governor appoints the Executive Director who serves at the Governor's pleasure.  The Commission also has a nine-member volunteer Commission Board appointed by the Governor.
  • The CAAA occasionally hosts public meetings around the state, most recently cancelling its March 14th meeting due to the pandemic and last having met on January 9th. The meeting on Friday will be hosted remotely via Zoom, and the agenda and connection details were not available at publication time.
  • During the last legislative session, Chairman Will Hausa and Commissioner Paula Sardinas helped steer the development of HB 2870, “Allowing additional marijuana retail licenses for social equity purposes.” The WSLCB and the CAAA continued to dialogue and collaborate on the implementation of HB 2870 since its passage into law, with occasional public mentions by the Board.
  • Most recently on July 2nd, WSLCB Board Member Russ Hauge briefly noted “the conversations going back and forth between our agency and the African American Affairs Commission and I wonder if we’re going to talk about those sometime - but I think we’ve got time to do that” (audio - <1m). Cannabis Observer subsequently filed its first public records request with the Commission. While correlation is not causation, CAAA staff posted notice of the new public meeting the same afternoon as they responded to our request, deferring an estimate on delivery of responsive records for thirty working days.