The Board heard an update on the retail license forfeiture program and an approaching deadline for non-operational retailers.
Here are some observations from the Tuesday July 18th Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Board Caucus. Cannabis Observer was unable to directly observe this Board Caucus. We have prepared takeaways and linked supplemental material using documents secured through public records request.
My top 3 takeaways:
- The Board received an update on the retail license forfeiture program and the upcoming deadline for non-operational retailers.
- WSLCB Director of Licensing and Regulation Becky Smith said her office has received requests from 5 licensees for extensions beyond the August 1st deadline. The Board agreed to maintain the existing timeline and suggested businesses plan “soft” openings before the deadline.
- Petition for rulemaking to clarify the definition of True Parties of Interest.
- Policy and Rules Coordinator Joanna Eide shared a petition for clarification of the definition of True Parties of Interest, asking that it be narrowly defined as anyone “entitled to receive a percentage of total revenue” (handout).
- Eide proposed evaluating the change as part of a current rulemaking package, and said she did not believe it would impact open investigations into hidden ownership.
- Member Ollie Garrett discussed her participation at a Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA) meeting in Arlington.
- Member Garrett said WACA members’ concerns centered on enforcement. One issue was “…time spent by enforcement writing violations for what they felt were simple errors versus investigating hidden ownership.”
- Member Garrett’s key takeaway was a desire for greater education focused on achieving and maintaining compliance. The Board discussed the idea of WSLCB-led training seminars.
- The Board intends to review written warnings and Administrative Violation Notices and may offer training on the compromise process.