The Week Ahead
(October 25, 2021)

Seattle Sunrise Sunset

As the Cannabis Science Task Force wrapped up its work and moved to fade into its sunset, the Social Equity Task Force was prepared to adopt its most ambitious legislative agenda yet.

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

Monday October 25th

DOE - Cannabis Science Task Force Steering Committee

On Monday at 9am PT, the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) Cannabis Science Task Force (CSTF) Steering Committee was scheduled to convene.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • The CSTF Steering Committee last convened on October 1st, during which members confirmed that a request bill to modify the timeline for Ecology to take on lab accreditation was shelved following “stakeholder research,” while potential legislation to create a lab standards body---the so-called interagency coordination team (ICT)---carried on. As is usually the case with these meetings, discussion covered many substantive items with potential long-term impacts on the cannabis sector - presuming eventual adoption of task force recommendations by the ICT.
  • On Monday, the committee was scheduled to hear work group updates and motions; check on the status of their next legislative report; and review preparations to sunset the task force.

Tuesday October 26th

WSLCB - Board Caucus

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

WA HCA - DBHR Listening Session

On Tuesday at 1:30pm PT, the monthly Washington State Health Care Authority (WA HCA) Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) Behavioral Health Service Provider Listening Session was scheduled to recur.

Wednesday October 27th

WSLCB - Board Meeting

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

  • [ Event Details ]
  • At publication time, we were not aware of any cannabis rulemaking scheduled for this board meeting.

Thursday October 28th

WA SECTF - Public Meeting

On Thursday at 9am PT, the Washington State Legislative Task Force on Social Equity in Cannabis (WA SECTF) was scheduled to convene.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • The WA SECTF last convened on September 14th to hear and potentially adopt recommendations from each of the active task force work groups (Disproportionately Impacted Areas, Licensing, Technical Assistance and Mentorship).
  • The Licensing Work Group subsequently met on September 22nd to develop additional proposals on social equity retail licenses, license mobility, and a market share metric for equity which would presumably be presented for discussion and adoption on the 28th. The group most recently met on October 20th to review social equity producer/processor licensure and hear a proposal from the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) on local taxation.
  • The Technical Assistance and Mentorship (TA and Mentorship) Work Group subsequently met on October 12th to discuss and develop recommendations regarding community reinvestment, a common component of more contemporary state-level cannabis legalization regimes.
  • At publication time, the Disproportionately Impacted Areas Work Group had not publicly convened since August 17th - a month prior to the last full task force meeting.
    • Last week, I speculated that may have been related to the fact that the “group was relying on the work of two University of Washington researchers, paid by WSLCB, who were utilizing data previously provided by the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts (WA AOC).” We’ve since obtained the WSLCB contract with Michele Cadigan which indicated she could have been compensated for a maximum of 35 hours of work between March 26th and June 30th. No contract amendments were provided in the release of records we received and no subsequent contracts appear to have been undertaken by WSLCB.
    • We communicated with WA SECTF Manager Anzhane Slaughter, who provided the following perspective: “Although the DIA workgroup has not been meeting, the workgroup co-leads (Chris Poulos, Cherie MacLeod and other group leaders) have been meeting on a weekly basis to finalize the proposals made on the workgroup level in preparation for the full Task Force meeting on Oct 28. The DIA workgroup is planning to make recommendations to LCB and the legislature around a Social Equity Scoring Rubric and Application process.”
    • She added: “Chris Poulos has accepted a new leadership role with the Department of Corrections. With his new role, he will be stepping away from the Task Force and another representative from Commerce will fill his seat, not necessarily his position as DIA Co-lead. Same goes for Cherie seat on the Task Force. Since she is no longer representing the Association of Washington Cities, another representative from AWC will fill in. These new members will not take co-lead roles because 1) They are just now coming into the work. And need time to catch-up. 2)Rep. Morgan, SECTF Chair is looking to dissolve the workgroups and move the work back to the Task Force level. Depending on the outcome of the Oct. 28 special meeting, The DIA workgroup may be dissolved. While the Licensing and TA&M workgroup meet until the end of the year to finish up their tasks.”

Friday October 29th

WSLCB - Webinar - CCRS - Labs

On Friday at 9am PT, WSLCB staff planned to host a webinar on the Cannabis Central Reporting System (CCRS) for testing laboratory staff.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • The invitation stated, “Webinar for certified labs to review the upcoming CCRS reports.”