The Week Ahead
(January 20, 2020)

Here’s a look at cannabis-related policymaking events on Cannabis Observer’s calendars in the week ahead.

Monday January 20th

On Monday at 1:30pm PT, the Washington State House Commerce and Gaming Committee (WA House COG) invited the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) to present in work session and planned public hearings for two cannabis-related bills.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • The WSLCB was invited to present a non-specific “agency update” to the Committee with Director Rick Garza listed as the presenter on the agenda. The committee meeting’s accompanying materials included a letter from Garza titled “Follow Up to Regulated Communities and Stakeholders Interviewed by Hillard Heintze” indicating the agency may have been asked to describe progress towards implementation of SB 5318 and outcomes from the independent consultant’s review of the agency mandated by the legislature. The Hillard Heintze study was expected as early as late September and WSLCB released the report contextualized by the letter from Garza in the afternoon on Friday January 9th. The legislative session started the following Monday, January 13th.
  • Public Hearing: HB 2296“Concerning the regulation of hemp, including products derived from hemp.” Representative MacEwen, the Ranking Minority Member on the committee and the Assistant Minority Floor Leader, will introduce his bill which appears to permit the use of cannabidiol (CBD) in food products, in potential contravention of current federal guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The meeting materials included a technical amendment authored by the primary sponsor.
  • Public Hearing: HB 2300“Authorizing marijuana retailers to sell cannabidiol products.” Another bill authored by MacEwen would permit retailers to sell CBD products procured from manufacturers not licensed by WSLCB provided those products meet established marijuana product safety requirements. Following the requested withdrawal of the out-of-state investment and equity program bills, HB 2263 and SB 6085, passage of this bill became the top listed legislative priority of the Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA).

On Monday at 1:30pm PT, the Washington State House Public Safety Committee (WA House PS) planned a public hearing for one cannabis-related bill.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • Public Hearing: HB 2375“Concerning tableting and encapsulating machines and controlled substance imitation materials.” It’s Cannabis Observer’s understanding that this bill may create complications for processors using machines to create tablets or capsules containing certain cannabinoids.

Tuesday January 21st

On Tuesday at 10am PT, the weekly WSLCB Board Caucus was scheduled to recur.

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  • The Board planned to hear rulemaking updates from the agency’s Policy and Rule Coordinators in advance of Wednesday’s board meeting.

On Tuesday at 3:30pm PT, the Washington State House Commerce and Gaming Committee planned a public hearing for two cannabis-related advertising bills and an executive session for the homegrow bill.

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  • Public Hearing: HB 2321“Reducing youth access to products intended for consumption only by adults age twenty-one and over.” This bill appears to ban cannabis billboards while lifting restrictions against on-premise retail signage with the caveat that signage may not be “appealing to youth.” It also introduces significant new regulation of vapor licensees.
  • Public Hearing: HB 2350“Preventing youth marijuana consumption by updating marijuana advertising requirements.” This bill appears to ban cannabis billboards while lifting restrictions against on-premise retail signage in a similar manner as HB 2321, without inclusion of the vapor provisions.
  • Executive Session: HB 1131“Allowing residential marijuana agriculture.” The homegrow bill, which was heard in the house last session along with its companion in the senate, was scheduled for executive action by COG committee members.

Wednesday January 22nd

On Wednesday at 10am PT, the bi-weekly WSLCB Board Meeting was scheduled to recur.

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  • The Board was scheduled to consider filing new CR-102 proposed rules for the Quality Control Testing rulemaking project (formerly Quality Assurance Testing and Product Requirements). WSLCB Policy and Rules Coordinator Kathy Hoffman’s last rulemaking update on the project was on January 7th.
  • The Board was also scheduled to adopt the CR-103 final rules for the Cannabis Penalties rulemaking project. The Board hosted a public hearing on the CR-102 proposed rules on January 8th.

On Wednesday at 1:30pm PT, the Washington State Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee (WA Senate HLTC) planned to host a public hearing on one cannabis-related bill.

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  • Public Hearing: SB 6254“Protecting public health and safety by enhancing the regulation of vapor products.” The hotly anticipated vapor product legislation requested by the Office of the Governor and shepherded by the Department of Health undergoes its first public hearing on Wednesday. The bill would institute the flavored vapor products ban in statute, establishing more restrictive law in Washington state than what is emerging at the federal level. The bill would overhaul the regulation of vapor products inside the state, require licensure of out of state manufacturers, and necessitate significant additional rulemaking by the WSLCB in 2020. The Washington State Board of Health (SBOH) discussed the legislation, vapor associated lung injuries (VALI), and the active lawsuit against the State on January 8th.

On Wednesday, the weekly WSLCB Executive Management Team (EMT) meeting has been canceled.

Thursday January 23rd

On Thursday at 8am PT, the Washington State Senate Labor and Commerce Committee (WA Senate LBRC) planned to host public hearings on four cannabis-related bills.

  • [ Event Details ]
  • Public Hearing: SB 6393“Concerning cannabis industry workplace standards.” This is the identical senate companion bill to HB 2361 heard on Thursday January 16th in WA House COG.
  • Public Hearing: SB 6057“Concerning price differentials in the sale of marijuana.” This bill would distinguish “price differentials” from “conditional sales” as follows: “Price differentials for sales of marijuana in any single transaction or recurring long-term contracts based upon bona fide business factors including, but not limited to, competitive conditions, costs of servicing a marijuana retailer’s account, efficiencies in handling goods, or quantity of marijuana products purchased in the transaction or series of transactions, to the extent the differentials are not unlawful under trade regulation laws applicable to goods of all kinds, do not violate this section.
  • Public Hearing: SB 6033“Concerning the safety and security of retail marijuana outlets.” Senator Karen Keiser, the chair of the committee and President Pro Tempore of the Senate, will introduce her bill which would require greater information sharing between the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and the WSLCB regarding robberies of licensed retailers. At publication time, the bill was silent on the safety and security of licensed producers and processors, some of whom have recently been subject to robberies and successfully advocated for the removal of a map of licensed premise locations from the WSLCB’s website.
  • Public Hearing: SB 6269“Authorizing marijuana retailers to sell cannabidiol products.” This is the identical senate companion bill to HB 2300 heard on Monday in WA House COG.

Friday January 24th

On Friday at 10am PT, the WSLCB Traceability 2.0 Work Group was scheduled to convene.

On Friday at 12pm PT, the Cannabis Observer Legislative Meetup will recur.