M. Bailey Hirschburg

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With over a decade of cannabis reform advocacy with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Bailey was Washington NORML’s Legislative Associate during the 2017-18 legislative sessions and the only lobbyist focused solely on recreational cannabis policy. He’s currently the consumer representative on the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s Cannabis Advisory Council. Bailey has a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and lives in Lacey, Washington with his wife.

Washington State Legislature – Cannabis Bill Activity (March 18-21, 2019)

Here are some observations from several Washington State Legislature committee public meetings during the week of March 18-21, 2019 – and a glimpse of the week ahead. My top 3 takeaways: The Senate Labor and Commerce Committee hosted public hearings on two cannabis bills: HB 1794 (intellectual property) and HB 2052 (testing lab accreditation).HB 1794 … Continued

WSLCB – Board Caucus (March 19, 2019)

Here are some observations from the Tuesday March 19th WSLCB Board Caucus. My top 3 takeaways: Board Member Ollie Garrett initiated discussion about legislation relevant to the agency and related media coverage (audio – 11m).Noting the failure of the agency’s request legislation to establish a mandatory budtender permit (HB 1370 / SB 5678), Garrett asked … Continued

Washington State Senate – Bills (March 18, 2019) – SB 5985 – “Concerning provisions impacting marijuana business licensees.”

Here are some observations about a new cannabis bill, SB 5985. This unusual bill was introduced on March 14th—the day after the house of origin cutoff—and attempts to revive parts of particular cannabis bills which were not moved by the usual means. My top 3 takeaways: SB 5985 may be designated necessary to implement the … Continued

Washington State Legislature – House of Origin Cutoff (March 13, 2019)

A critical deadline was passed on Wednesday March 13th: bills not passed by the chamber in which they were introduced cannot move further this year in their original form. Legislation which has made it past the cutoff will be considered in the other chamber. Only twelve out of fifty cannabis-related bills tracked by Cannabis Observer … Continued

WSLCB – Executive Management Team (March 6, 2019)

Here are some observations from the March 6th WSLCB Executive Management Team (EMT) public meeting. My top 3 takeaways: WSLCB Director Rick Garza discussed the agency’s response to the Enforcement restructuring bills, SB 5318 and HB 1237 (audio – 15m).Garza indicated that for the last month he had sought to understand legislation seeking to dramatically … Continued

WSLCB – Board Meeting (March 6, 2019)

Here are some observations from the Wednesday March 6th WSLCB Board Meeting. My top 3 takeaways: The Board approved the CR-102 for rulemaking on Mandatory Marijuana Signage following a presentation from Policy and Rules Coordinator Kathy Hoffman (audio – 4m).Hoffman had prepared the Board to approve her request to file the CR-102 during the prior … Continued

Washington State Legislature – Bill Updates (March 4, 2019)

Here are some observations of the Washington State Legislature’s activity on several cannabis bills which are still active after the fiscal committee cutoff was reached on Friday March 1st. My top 3 takeaways: SB 5298, “Regarding labeling of marijuana products,” was introduced for its second reading on the Senate floor but action was deferred on … Continued

Washington State Legislature – Bill Updates (February 25-28, 2019)

Here are some observations of the Washington State Legislature’s activity on several cannabis bills during the week starting Monday February 25th. After the policy committee cutoff was reached this past Friday February 22nd, attention turned to the winnowing of cannabis bills through the fiscal committees in each chamber before the next of several legislative deadlines … Continued

WSLCB – Board Caucus (February 26, 2019)

Here are some observations from the February 26th WSLCB Board Caucus. My top 3 takeaways: The Board publicly met the new Deputy Director of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) (audio – 6m).Megan Duffy has joined as WSLCB Deputy Director following the departure of Pat Kohler.Board Chair Jane Rushford asked about Duffy’s background.Duffy … Continued

Washington State Legislature – Bills (February 25, 2019) – HB 1401 – “Concerning Hemp Production”

Here are some observations on the evolution of HB 1401, “Concerning hemp production,” a bill which would enable Washington farmers to participate in the federal hemp program authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill. My top 3 takeaways: On February 5th, the Washington State House Commerce and Gaming Committee hosted a public hearing for HB 1401.Committee … Continued