WSLCB – Board Caucus
(September 17, 2019)

The WSLCB’s Cannabis 2.0 project is garnering the attention of leadership at other state agencies ahead of the 2020 legislative session.

Here are some observations from the September 17th Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Board Caucus.

My top 3 takeaways:

  • The Board discussed plans for the first public Cannabis 2.0 meeting and shared notable developments in the project regarding participation by other agencies (audio – 4m).
    • Cannabis 2.0 (C2.0) was a WSLCB project to create Washington state’s next generation of cannabis policy in coordination with other state agencies. The first external meeting was in June.
      • Since that time the Board endeavored to meet directly with other state agency leaders and intended to collaborate on request legislation.
      • During a recent presentation to lawmakers, the agency shared an informational graphic depicting an aspirational distribution of existing and new cannabis authorities amongst state agencies which overlapped with WSLCB’s regulatory responsibilities.
    • Board Chair Jane Rushford announced the next C2.0 meeting was slated for the morning of November 14th and would “involve all of the Board” as well as numerous department directors or their designees. Rushford said it would “be largely preparation for work in session 2020.”
    • Rushford said that she and Director Rick Garza had been meeting with leaders from other agencies who had been unable to attend the first C2.0 meeting to impress upon them the benefits of working collectively with all of the institutions involved in controlling cannabis. She said they’d soon be meeting with the Department of Ecology (DOE) and the state Health Care Authority (HCA). Garza previously met with leadership at the Washington State Patrol (WSP), and agency staff talked about the project with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA).
    • Board Member Ollie Garrett met recently with the director of the Department of Commerce (Commerce) to discuss equity issues and C2.0. She asked Rushford whether she believed these meetings outside WSLCB were generating interest in the project. Rushford responded that the “longevity of those meetings is uncertain at this point” but noted that “what’s been so favorable is everyone’s very responsive to it.” She added that her hope was for “rekindling” relationships with other agencies and creating an “ongoing exchange” about best practices and shared responsibilities. Garrett said that Commerce Director Lisa Brown had responded well and designated a staffer to attend the next C2.0 meeting.
    • Rushford also mentioned that she’d been in contact with interested state legislators who “have been very, really responsive to that level of collaboration.” Considering Cannabis 2.0 and their request legislation, Rushford concluded the agency had several “big things in progress.”
  • Chair Jane Rushford expected an autumn and winter schedule packed with events and meetings attended by board members and agency leadership including the Washington State Prevention Summit and the next Cannabis Advisory Council meeting (audio – 3m).
    • Rushford quickly listed various upcoming meetings and events:
    • Rushford asked Executive Assistant Dustin Dickson to “review that list of dates that we have and get it out to the board members.” She admitted the Board would “lose a couple of weeks to holiday[s]” due to canceled meetings around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Rushford indicated meetings could still occur “if we need to stay on schedule” despite major holidays but she sounded optimistic as Policy and Rules staff had “also been attentive to that likelihood.”
  • Board Members described meetings they’d recently participated in, including a visit from a cannabis testing laboratory and a regional conference of alcohol regulators curious about convergence with cannabis.
Here are shared documents for your review:

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