The Week Ahead
(August 5, 2019)

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) had an especially busy week planned after canceling both of last week’s public meetings. No reasons were given for last week’s cancellations, but agency leadership was focused on coming to an agreement with MJ Freeway on an 8th amendment to the Leaf Data Systems contract before the expiration of the 7th amendment on Wednesday July 31st.

The last two amendments to the contract for Washington’s seed-to-sale traceability system are notable for their brevity, their primary purpose pushing the contract expiration date further down the road. But the new contract amendment included an important agreement:

During the period of this extension, Contractor shall limit its efforts to performing additional stabilization of the System and routine and/or needed Corrections, if any, specific to Release 1.37.5.

That agreement constrains MJ Freeway to stabilizing the infamous 1.37.5 release. The unwritten corollary is the WSLCB has restricted new development effort on any subsequent releases of Leaf Data Systems for the next two months. This may be less impactful than it seems because MJ Freeway previously reported progress on development of subsequent releases – accomplished during the eight months after November 2018 when release 1.37.5 was first contracted for launch. But the amended language hints at a further decline in the relationship between Washington state and its seed-to-sale vendor, and prompts the question: has the WSLCB lost the last of its confidence in MJ Freeway’s ability to deliver and operate the traceability system it agreed to create on July 10th, 2017?

If the price of the stock of MJ Freeway’s parent company Akerna is regarded as a quantitative indicator of public confidence in the cannabis technology company, it would appear that public confidence is waning as the KERN stock slipped below its strike price for the first time the day after the latest contract amendment was signed.

We’ll find out more in the week ahead.

TUESDAY: On Tuesday August 6th at 10am PT @ WSLCB, the weekly Board Caucus recurs [ agenda ]. Board Member Russ Hauge and Policy and Rules Coordinator Kathy Hoffman planned to provide a brief overview of their visit to the Washington SunGrowers Industry Association (WSIA) annual meeting and farm tours.

WEDNESDAY: On Wednesday August 7th at 10am PT @ WSLCB, the bi-weekly Board Meeting recurs [ agenda, handouts, GoToWebinar ]. At publication time, there did not appear to be formal cannabis rulemaking scheduled for this board meeting, but Hoffman planned to provide a timeline update. Executive Assistant Dustin Dickson indicated GoToWebinar support from the new building’s board room could remain aspirational, and offered the agency’s Periscope account as an alternative streaming video source.

On Wednesday August 7th at 1:30pm PT @ WSLCB, the three-member Board and agency leadership convene their weekly Executive Management Team meeting, currently on a bi-weekly cadence [ agenda ]. In addition to an executive session attended by six lawyers from the Office of the Attorney General, Enforcement Chief Justin Nordhorn and Hoffman planned to provide a summary of their observations from the Regulators Roundtable recently hosted in Alaska.

On Wednesday August 7th at 1pm PT @ The Green Lady Shoppe in Olympia, the Cannabis Alliance Marijuana Lounge Committee hosts the first in a series of town hall meetings soliciting public feedback on social consumption legislation for Washington [ Facebook event ]. The committee has been studying consumption and social use legislation and wants to hear opinions from the public on what should be included in a proposal on the topic.

  • 1-2pm: Panel Discussion / Q&A: “Marijuana Lounges” in Washington State.
  • 2-2:30pm: Illinois Cannabis Cafe and Social Equity Program Review. This will feature a conference call between other Marijuana Lounge Committee members.
  • 2:30-3pm:  Meet and Greet / Q&A follow up.

The discussion will be streamed on Facebook Live, and archived on YouTube. Cannabis Observer’s Bailey Hirschburg, who authored HB 1945 last session, has been active on the committee and will sit on the panel. Contact Josh Kincaid to stay apprised of subsequent events planned around the state:

  • August 21st – North Puget Sound, in Everett or Marysville area
  • September 4th – Spokane
  • September 18th – Ellensberg
  • October 2nd – Seattle

THURSDAY: On Thursday August 8th at 10am PT @ WSLCB, the bi-weekly Marijuana Traceability Project (MTP) Integrator Work Session recurs. This is not a formal public meeting, but is open to interested parties.

On Thursday August 8th at 1:30pm PT @ WSLCB, the Marijuana Traceability Project (MTP) Advisory Committee Meeting recurs, currently meeting every other month. This is not a formal public meeting, but is open to the public.

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