Here are some observations from the August 29th WSLCB Executive Management Team meeting.
My top 3 takeaways:
- The Board discussed feedback from stakeholders about budtender permits (transcript, audio).
- “The Cannabis Farmers Council and Washington NORML expressed concern that the penalties for underage service were too severe. It’s a … felony,” but since that is by law rather than rule the Board cannot address this concern.
- The Board “removed handling from the scope of the bill” based on feedback from The Cannabis Alliance and CORE. Retail employees who are not public-facing would be exempt.
- The training for a budtender permit would be separate from medical consultant training.
- The permit length has been cut to two years “because of the dynamism and, of this industry, and how subject to change it is, the legal context, and so forth.”
- Persons with revoked permits will be unable to work as budtenders for at least one year, with language enabling longer penalties.
- The Board discussed cannabis lab testing accreditation (transcript, audio).
- The Washington State Department of Ecology [DOE] is “very strongly supportive of this.”
- The “Lab Guild” supports.
- The Cannabis Alliance “expressed some concerns about the initial draft bill, although it appears the reason for those concerns were that, they weren’t hearing from Department of Ecology” about the results of that Department’s study of what their standards should look like. Director of Legislative Relations Chris Thompson reported that DOE has “scheduled a meeting with the labs” to address suboptimal information flow.
- The Association of Washington Businesses supported last session, and Thompson “would expect that they’d remain supportive.”
- Policy and Rules Coordinator Joanna Eide requested that the Board sign a Compact with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. (transcript, audio).
- The Compact is similar to other Tribal Compacts, but this one is a little bit different because “they’ve also worked to do an agreement with [Washington State] Department of Health [DOH] at the same time.”
- The Board discussed a new amendment to Tribal Compacts requiring that the Tribes notify WSLCB about the size of their intended production.
- This is the 10th Tribal Compact overall.