Staff showed the Board the agency's new research repository before they were updated on the status of a legislatively-mandated home delivery study and a draft report from the State Auditor on traceability system data.
Here are some observations from the Wednesday June 6th Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Executive Management Team meeting.
My top 3 takeaways:
- Trecia Ehrlich, Research Consultant with the WSLCB Director’s Office, introduced the Board to a research repository she has created and demonstrated ways in which it is possible to start using the content to inform policy making. Ehrlich made a point to address the term “public health” and how it is often used in conjunction with prevention but that there is much broader “idea of just improving the health of people and their communities, small or large, to prevent problems from happening or recurring, through the implementation of education, policy, administering services, and conducting research.” Ehrlich also brought up the term “harm reduction” stating, “by legalizing and testing cannabis, we are reducing the harm that could be caused by microbials, enterobacteria, pesticides, mycotoxins. So we’re taking a product that already exists in an illicit marketplace, and we’re reducing the amount of harm possible by regulating it, and testing it, and making sure that consumers have quality assurance” (transcript, audio).
- WSLCB Director of Legislative Relations Chris Thompson updated the Board on the status of the legislatively-mandated home delivery study. WSLCB is organizing a meeting, tentatively set for Tuesday June 19th, that will include patients, stakeholders, and internal staff. Those who are not able to attend will have the opportunity to dial in or submit comments after the meeting. WSLCB Director Rick Garza said the point of this meeting is to give stakeholders a chance to give their feedback earlier in the process as the agency has received complaints about stakeholders feeling left out (transcript, audio).
- Peter Antolin, Deputy Director at the WSLCB, discussed a draft report issued by the State Auditor’s Office based on data within the traceability system. This audit was initiated by Antolin in conversation with the Lead Auditor as a follow up on a separate small business economic impact audit. The WSLCB is reviewing the document adding comments and suggested edits. They will be holding an informal meeting with the Lead Auditor and hope to encourage the Auditor’s Office to change some of the language within the report, including language which is “…really heavy on nefarious actions by licensees…” (transcript, audio).