The Week Ahead
(September 21, 2020)

A week more notable for cancellations would still include a meetup of third-party software integrators augmenting Washington state’s regulated marketplace despite Akerna.

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

Monday September 21st

On Monday, 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.

  • In August through November, the cadence switched from one agency-wide furlough day per week to once per month on third Mondays. The agency’s furlough days are marked on Cannabis Observer’s events calendar and our WSLCB calendar.

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

On Monday at 9:30am PT, the Washington State Public Records Exemption Accountability Committee (WA Sunshine Committee) was scheduled to host a public meeting.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • At their last meeting on August 18th, the WA Sunshine Committee passed a motion establishing a new approach to their work geared towards processing the backlog of exemptions to public records law which the Committee was established to review.
    • At publication time, Cannabis Observer was aware of three exemptions to public records disclosure requirements which reference or are encoded in RCW 69.50.  None of the cannabis-related exemptions are up for review at this meeting.
  • During the past month, members divided up an initial ten exemptions for review and will present their analysis to the assembled committee. The committee only has the authority to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding the exemptions encoded in statute, and it remains the Legislature’s prerogative to take action on the Committee’s recommendations or not.

Tuesday September 22nd

The weekly WSLCB Board Caucus was cancelled.

Wednesday September 23rd

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

  • [ 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.

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

The initial WSLCB BIPOC Engagement listed as occurring on Wednesday evening was cancelled prior to formal announcement of the scheduled dates.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • During the September 1st board caucus, Member Ollie Garrett discussed the agency’s plans for engagement with black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities prompted by the passage of HB 2870 and listed a series of five planned virtual meetings. However, during the caucus on September 15th, Garrett indicated the number of engagements had been subsequently diminished to three (audio - 2m).
  • Late last week, WSLCB formally announced the engagements with a dedicated screen on their website which begins, “In an effort to improve accountability and communication with the public, the LCB hopes to solicit feedback directly from members of communities of color regarding experiences and concerns when it comes to working within the existing cannabis system. The LCB recognizes that when the regulatory structure of the current cannabis regulatory system was developed, mistakes were made...”
  • At publication time, the first WSLCB BIPOC Engagement was planned for Tuesday September 29th from 5-8pm.

Thursday September 24th

On Thursday at 10am PT, the monthly WSLCB Marijuana Traceability Project (MTP) Integrator Work Session was scheduled to recur.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • Although not yet confirmed, it’s Cannabis Observer’s understanding that this month’s Integrator Work Session will be convened.
  • I submitted an agenda item which stated, “In preparation for the upcoming Traceability 2.0 meeting occuring in early October, I'd like to request the addition of an agenda item to glean perspective from the third-party software providers about an issue I've been hearing more about lately: voided manifests causing downstream revenue reporting errors.  I honestly haven't had time to review the past Integrator Work Sessions to see if this is an issue that has been raised before, or whether there are associated bug tracking numbers.  I am hoping to survey the gathered software integrators to hear if they have seen this problem, whether it's been isolated to particular vendors or use cases, and likely causes.  It's my understanding this issue has been seen across multiple platforms, and there's been finger pointing back and forth with MJF/Akerna about root cause(s).  I need that technical perspective to understand how much to push on this as a policy issue at the Traceability 2.0 meeting.  I'm told that incorrect revenue numbers are surfacing on data aggregator platforms (they could simply be incorrectly interpreting public data) and that's causing licensed businesses problems with their banks, insurers, etc.  If the public data is incorrect, that's also going to cause problems for other sectors interpreting what's happening in the marketplace (e.g., public health, legislators eager to address budget shortfalls).”
  • In related news last week, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) awarded their contract for “implementation of a statewide seed-to-sale system” to Metrc.

The second WSLCB BIPOC Engagement listed as occurring on Thursday morning was cancelled prior to formal announcement of the program.

Friday September 25th

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.