The Board met the new WSLCB Public Health Education Liaison and planned a visit to Spokane in early January.
Here are some observations from the December 4th WSLCB Board Caucus.
My top 3 takeaways:
- WSLCB Board Chair Jane Rushford introduced the new WSLCB Public Health Education Liaison, Scott McCarty (audio – 10m).
- McCarty will be replacing Mary Segawa who has held the position since January 2010.
- Starting in 2013, McCarty worked on youth prevention for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR).
- McCarty was “…part of all the pieces of [cannabis] legislation that came into DSHS which ended up being, something like, 120 bills that first year that had something to do with marijuana. And so, I would do all of the analysis for that, that then filtered its way up in DSHS for them to utilize.”
- DSHS: “Marijuana Legislation – Implementing Initiative 502”
- Most recently, McCarty founded and sold a private sector startup.
- McCarty claimed an academic background including, “a degree in biochemistry and analytical chemistry and then doctorates in pharmacology and pharmacy.”
- In early November, Chair Rushford, Segawa, and McCarty traveled together to the Washington State Prevention Summit where WSLCB hosted a workshop.
- Chair Rushford added: “He traveled with Mary and I, and it gave us a lot of time to get acquainted.”
- McCarty explained attaining this particular role at WSLCB had been a personal ambition of his: “This is a spot I wanted when I was back at DSHS, and Mary had her feet dug in here a little bit and so it wasn’t available.”
- Chair Rushford asked about McCarty’s priorities beyond “being involved looking at legislation”:
- McCarty first identified being Co-Chair of the Washington Healthy Youth Coalition as a priority for the upcoming year. He plans to review the coalition’s priorities and encourage the creation of “deliverables.”
- Board Member Russ Hauge told McCarty, “…the issues that you are charged with are going to be a part of everything we’re doing… How the market for cannabis is going to change, how we are going to address issues, ultimately, like on-site consumption. How we are going to make sure that there is equal opportunity for the big and the small growers.”
- Member Hauge: “So, at the same time that we’re expanding the market, we’re going to need you to tell us how to keep it clamped down so that – bad things don’t happen.”
- McCarty then brought up appropriate access.
- The Board expressed interest in research into cannabis use and brain development.
- McCarty: “Yeah, I’ve done a lot of brain research. I gave a ton of presentations just on the brain research and the influence of different drugs during brain development.”
- Chair Rushford and McCarty anticipated publication of the results of a “Healthy Use Survey” in March. McCarty volunteered, “I sit on that group also, so I’ll have the raw data a little bit earlier…” McCarty also mentioned the University of Washington has been conducting a “Young Adult Survey” of 6th grade through “college age” youth.
- Chair Rushford expressed interest in opening dialogue with The Brain Institute in Seattle.
- Chair Rushford briefed the board on preparations for the WSLCB visit to Spokane in early January (audio – 9m).
- WSLCB intends to host a public board meeting in Spokane on January 9th.
- The Board discussed opportunities for outreach including Washington State University researchers, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, the Spokane County Prosecutor, and local legislators.