Board Member Ollie Garrett talked about agency enforcement practices and research into minority ownership of cannabis licenses.
Here are some observations from the August 28th Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Board Caucus.
My top 3 takeaways:
- Board Member Ollie Garrett reported on her research into consistency of enforcement actions (transcript, audio).
- Garrett is looking for patterns, including regional variation, in the Administrative Violation Notice (AVN) data provided to her by WSLCB Enforcement.
- Garrett highlighted conversations with “smaller retailers” who sometimes receive AVNs for non-public safety violations such as employees not having a badge on.
- In contrast, Garrett found some public safety violations, such as selling to minors, can result in warnings rather than automatic issuance of AVNs.
- Garrett brought up “District Manager” positions the WSLCB staffed before liquor privatization. These employees visited licensees when non-public safety violations were observed by Enforcement and were said to educate licensees constructively.
- This is an ongoing discussion developing the WSLCB’s “interest in having a, a liaison function, that’s [WSLCB Division] neutral,” according to Board Chair Jane Rushford.
- Garrett reported progress on research into minority ownership of license holder businesses (transcript, audio).
- The study has been assigned to WSLCB Marijuana Licensing Supervisor Frank O’Dell.
- In addition to the majority-minority share (51%) of license holders, Garrett also wants to confirm the percentage of minority-minority share ownership (under 51%) within each business.
- On August 7th, we learned the Board Office is hiring a full-time, limited-duration staffer to help perform this work (transcript, audio).
- Policy and Rules Coordinator Joanna Eide’s new position with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources came as a surprise to the Board (transcript, audio).
- This was first discussed at the August 21st Board Caucus meeting (transcript, audio) and also announced at the August 22nd Board Meeting (transcript, audio).