Ahead of the 2023 session, committee members heard about the response to organized retail crime, including staff of the attorney general’s office and cannabis retail representatives.
After largely encouraging public comments for three city ordinances on cannabis labor and equity policies, the council adopted all the measures and promised more action in the future.
Opinions differed on an ordinance requiring a “cannabis needs assessment” on industry equity, but other measures on city equity licenses and worker retention were less controversial.
The committee reviewed background and amendments on multiple cannabis bills targeting worker retention and training; creation of a city social equity license; and a “Cannabis Needs Assessment.”
After months of deliberations, the city council referred three cannabis equity ordinances drafted by staff of the mayor’s office to the Finance and Housing committee for consideration.
Committee members learned the status of the WSLCB equity retail program and asked a few questions as they sought to develop a dedicated social equity program for Seattle.
After public comments were heard, Finance and Administrative Services staff offered research and stakeholder recommendations on cannabis business equity before replying to questions.
Four panelists representing cannabis retail staff and social equity advocates briefed the committee on possible impacts of a city equity program on worker safety and advancement.
A last-minute hearing on a repackaged bill to regulate synthesized cannabinoids revealed shared public health concerns but testimony otherwise remained just as sharply divided.
Committee members heard positive testimony on a bill to increase penalties for cannabis retail robberies, and asked questions about the frequency of incidents and other solutions.