WSLCB – Board Caucus
(May 29, 2018)

Here are some observations from the June 1st WSLCB Board Caucus.

My top 3 takeaways:

  • Changes to Sampling Policies (transcript, audio).
    • WSLCB Policy and Rules Coordinator Joanna Eide reported comments on modifying industry sampling guidelines have been largely positive. The WSLCB intends to limit “vendor samples” (from producers/processors to retailers) to staff with purchasing authority for the retailer. “Budtender samples” do not face significant changes, but Board Member Russ Hauge said “…I’m having a hard time understanding how we’re ever gonna enforce the rules about who gets a sample of what.”  
  • Permitting Volume Discounts (transcript, audio).
    • A rule change authorizing volume discounts for retailers was debated. Board Members Jane Rushford and Hague expected to hear more opinions in the following day’s public hearing, but common themes were emerging.
      • Board Members and staff agreed volume discounts currently happen, but complaints about the practice tend to be vague and rarely rise to direct accusation. I said, “well, you realize that you can give anonymous complaints through our website, correct?” And they said, “well, I don’t wanna narc,” and whatever.” – Joanna Eide
      • Product variability makes volume discounts difficult to track but a formal policy may make it easier to identify. Uniformity may give producer/processors a “shield” in negotiations with retailers. Concerns were that it benefits large producers more and concentrates more market power in the hands of retailers.
  • Cannabis economic forecast (transcript, audio).
    • Following a recent cannabis research symposium, Member Hauge asked about organizing a briefing on market forces in Washington’s cannabis marketplace and potentially requesting an economic forecast. Chair Rushford agreed and encouraged follow up.

Here are shared documents for your review: