Gregory is the founder of Cannabis Observer and its first citizen observer. Gregory is a member of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Traceability 2.0 Work Group and was recognized in early 2019 for Exemplary Service by The Cannabis Alliance, a Washington-based trade association. He marshals experience with technology, startups, legislative and regulatory advocacy, activism, journalism, freedom of information - and cannabis! Based in Olympia by way of Austin, Greg and his family call the tall trees of Washington home.
WSLCB Director Rick Garza spoke at length about the agency’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, and hints were offered about the resumption of regular rulemaking.
The WSLCB was once again poised to cancel its public meetings for the week while the Department of Ecology’s Cannabis Science Task Force prepared to meet via webinar.
The Board considered and approved emergency rulemaking claiming a specific authority to suspend licenses to enforce Governor’s Proclamations.
The WSLCB scheduled a Special Board Meeting for Monday afternoon to authorize and delegate summary license suspensions for enforcement of the Governor’s proclamations.
The Department solicited cannabis testing labs to perform analysis of hemp samples, a federal requirement expected within 15 days prior to harvest of every acre of hemp grown in the US.
The Governor signed HB 2870, WSLCB’s request legislation establishing a social equity program, competitive grants, and a task force to help open a new cycle of retail licensure.
The agency paused the Quality Control Testing rulemaking project, implemented emergency rules allowing deferred excise tax payments, and learned the status of open rulemaking efforts.
The WSLCB cancelled 8 out of 11 regularly scheduled public meetings in March as governance in the shadow of COVID-19 shifted to emergency rulemaking and temporary policy adjustments.
Seated alone in compliance with his own social distancing orders, Governor Jay Inslee signed two bills into law which expand WSLCB and DOH cannabis regulatory authorities.
Public meetings for cannabis-related policymaking remained uncertain at the start of another week under the pall of COVID-19, but some agencies pushed ahead with telepresence.