The Board weighed possible agency request legislation for the next legislative session, heard about non-operational retailers, and shared impressions of a recent medical home delivery stakeholder discussion.
Here are some observations from the Wednesday June 20th Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Executive Management Team meeting.
My top 3 takeaways:
- WSLCB Director of Legislative Relations Chris Thompson presented the Board with five potential agency legislative requests for next session (transcript, audio).
- One of these proposals is a new version of past requests aimed to revise the authority of WSLCB Enforcement officers to be more consistent across all substances regulated by the agency. This bill would “extend to cannabis and vapor products the kind of authority that our officers already have for alcohol.” Thompson clarified that this proposal differs from ones that have failed to make it through past sessions as it does not include the authority to address patron conduct or impaired driving (transcript, audio).
- Another proposal would create a new requirement for mandatory budtender training of retail store employees. The program would be modeled after the Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) program currently implemented in Washington’s alcohol regulations. An entity separate from the WSLCB would be responsible for developing the curriculum and running the program. Tracking certifications as employees move from one business to another is an issue that would need to be addressed (transcript, audio).
- Thompson also brought up a legislative proposal that would transfer authority to accredit labs from the WSLCB to the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE). The DOE and the WSLCB are considering filing this as joint agency request legislation. Thompson said there may be an interim period where the LCB retains authority over both lab accreditation and product standards until the DOE is ready to implement rules (transcript, audio).
- WSLCB Director of Licensing and Regulation Becky Smith highlighted the significance of August 1st as many non-operational retailers are coming up on their deadline for license forfeiture which extends to either November 1st or 12 months after license issuance, whichever is longer (transcript, audio).
- Board Member Russ Hauge shared his thoughts on the Medical Home Delivery Study Stakeholders Meeting from the previous day. Hauge thought the meeting was “very, very useful.” What he used to view as a pilot program for recreational home delivery he now sees as an opportunity address the medical community and many of the issues that patients are dealing with such as access to compliant product. Hauge stated that medical patients are “there…they are in need and they’re committed and we can do a lot of good” (transcript, audio).
Follow Up (Aug 3, 2018)
Here are WSLCB drafts of agency request legislation discussed at the WSLCB Executive Management Team meeting on June 30, 2018.
- Draft Legislation: Budtender Licensing. Adds a new section to RCW 69.50.357 creating a cannabis retail budtender permitting system similar to Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST).
- Draft Legislation: Enforcement Uniformity. Amends sections (2) and (4) of RCW 66.44.010 to expand WSLCB Enforcement’s authority to enforce penal laws beyond alcohol to include “marijuana, tobacco, and vapor products.”
- Draft Legislation: Systems Modernization Project (SMP) sunset. Removes June 30, 2019 expiration for SMP account.
- Draft Legislation: Alcohol Promotion Amends RCW 66.20.010. “Relating to creating a special permit for an event promoter to work with a retail liquor licensee to hold public events where alcohol is being sold by the licensee.”