Clarifying Statement Regarding WSLCB Rule Making Authority Re THC Isomers Other Than Delta-9

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board issued the following clarifying statement regarding its rule making authority re: THC Isomers other than Delta-9.

Issue

Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive compound naturally occurring in very low levels in cannabis. With the recent federal legalization of hemp, delta-8 and other THC compounds other than state regulated delta-9, can be chemically derived from CBD that was originally generated from hemp.

Delta-8 derived from hemp has emerged for sale nationwide, including small amounts within the regulated Washington State supply chain, as well as in unregulated convenience stores and commercial internet websites. It is an emerging issue nationwide with concerns surrounding it that include: youth access, health effects resulting from the extraction process, and the impact of a product that is generally unregulated competing with a tightly regulated state cannabis marketplace.

Research

In recent months, the LCB has been researching delta-8 through multiple channels. Discussions are ongoing with state public health officials, cannabis industry representatives and other state regulators through the national trade organization the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA). Most states are currently fact finding and communicating with Washington and other states. Some have moved quickly to prohibit delta-8 through rule or legislation.

Reason for Policy Statement

On April 28, 2021, LCB issued Policy Statement Number PS-21-01 regarding: The regulation of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), other than Delta-9; and the conversion of CBD, hemp, or both to delta- 8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other cannabis compound that is not currently identified or defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), or both. The LCB’s policy statement is in response to multiple stakeholder requests and national concerns for clarification.

Through PS-21-01, the LCB is notifying the public and stakeholders that the agency will be addressing the issue. State law encourages agencies to advise the public of its current opinions, approaches, and likely courses of action by means of interpretive or policy statements. Current interpretive and policy statements are advisory only. To better inform the public, agencies are encouraged to also convert long-standing interpretive and policy statements into rules.

LCB Intent

The LCB’s intent is to open public discussion around this issue. While the Board has broad rule-making authority to act quickly when the public health, safety or welfare is at risk, the Board’s intention is to approach the issue conservatively and transparently, collecting input and actively collaborating with stakeholders. Until the LCB has reached a conclusion through the public rule-0making process whether to adopt rules to create enforceable requirements regarding products that contain delta-8, this policy statement is advisory. The LCB will continue to enforce existing rules pertaining to packaging and labeling reviews to ensure there is not an excess of 10 mg of any type of THC in edible products.

The policy statement represents the Board’s continued effort to make the public and stakeholders aware of our intentions and invite participation. The Board will soon approve a CR 101 to make the process public and begin standard rule-making. As always, interested parties may sign up for email notifications or check the LCB website at lcb.wa.gov for updates.

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board Actions: Vitamin E Acetate in Vapes & Tier 1 Canopy

WASHINGTON:Yesterday, during a regularly scheduled meeting, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board took the following action:

Approved a rule proposal (CR 102) to expand the plant canopy square footage allowed for licensed Tier 1 cannabis producers.

Adopted emergency rules (CR 103E) to enforce the requirements of WAC 246-80-021 prohibiting the use of vitamin E acetate in vapor products, within the context of chapter 69.50 RCW. This emergency rule allows the Board to take disciplinary action against any cannabis processor licensed under WAC 314-55-077, or any cannabis retailer licensed under WAC 314-55-079 that fails to comply with the provisions of WAC 246-80-021 under the authority of chapter 69.50 RCW. The emergency rules took effect immediately yesterday upon filing with the Code Reviser’s Office.

Rescinded Emergency Rules WAC 314-55-1065 and 314-55-1055, regarding the LCB Vitamin E Acetate Prohibition and Cannabis Product Disclosure Form

WSLCB Issues Policy Statement On Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Compounds Other Than Delta-9

WASHINGTON: Consistent with RCW 34.05.230, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) has published a policy statement concerning tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compounds other than delta-9 and the conversion of CBD, hemp, or both to delta- 8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other cannabis compound that is not currently identified or defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), or both. 

Policy statements are agency-level documents declaring plans or intentions of an agency. Policies are different from procedures, standard operating procedures, or guidance because they apply to the entire organization and are primarily intended to set direction. In contrast, procedures or guidelines typically include specific instructions used to accomplish defined tasks that may be described in a policy.

Notice of WLSCB Policy Statement #PS21-01 was filed with the Washington State Code Reviser on April 28, 2021 as WSR 21-10-045. The policy statement is offered in response to multiple stakeholder requests and national concern for clarification regarding the regulation of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), other than delta-9; and the conversion of CBD, hemp, or both to delta- 8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other cannabis compound that is not currently identified or defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), or both.

Additional information can be found on the WSLCB Policy Statements webpage.

Virtual Listen and Learn Forum Session on Draft Conceptual Rules: Background Checks for Cannabis Licensees and Applicants

WASHINGTON:  The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is hosting a Listen and Learn forum about draft conceptual rules for cannabis applicants or licensee background checks.

The Liquor and Cannabis Board began considering revisions to current background check processes for applicants or licensee by initiating a formal rule inquiry on February 17, 2021. The Preproposal Statement of Inquiry is found here.

WSLCB

Initiative 502 (I-502) established a legal framework for the Board to review the criminal history of marijuana [cannabis] license applicants, along with broad rulemaking authority to create rules related to criminal history background check standards. The initial background check rules were first established in late 2013, and the most recent revision occurred in early 2016.

The WSLCB will be re-evaluating current criminal history background check standards in an effort to remove unnecessary barriers to entry in the legal marijuana [cannabis] market by people and communities disproportionally impacted by marijuana [cannabis] criminalization. Revisions considered will be designed to support socially equitable conditions by deconstructing current rules to create fair and meaningful access to the economic opportunities afforded by marijuana [cannabis].

Here is a link to the agenda to help you prepare, along with draft changes (redline) and original language (non-redline) versions of the draft conceptual rules. Please come prepared to offer related feedback and suggestions.

Please remember that we are still in the developmental phase of rulemaking, and there are not yet any proposed or final rules amendments. To help you prepare for this listen/learn/contribute forum, please review the guidance document prepared for this and future forums.

When: Thursday, May 13, 2021, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Online via this link WebEx. Pre-registration is not required.

By phone only:  Toll Free: 1-855-929-3239, or Direct: (415) 655-0001

                            Access Code: 133 151 4096#

If you wish to join online here are a few reminders:

  • Online participation will be structured to allow one speaker at a time through a hand-raising feature on WebEx.
  • If you have difficulty with audio or visual elements of the WebEx meeting, please be patient, you can provide feedback to us at the email below. There is still opportunity to let us know your thoughts.

Questions? Contact Kathy Hoffman at katherine.hoffman@lcb.wa.gov

WSLCB To Cannabis Retailers: Things to Know Before 4-20 Activities

WASHINGTON: 

Greetings Retail Cannabis Partners,

As 4-20-21 is rapidly approaching, we wanted to send you a risk management reminder of activities we have seen in the past that violate state law. These activities could lead to violations before or during your 420 events:

Some things to avoid:

Any outdoor signs related to your 420 event that are visible outside of the “adult only” enclosed area

  • Any advertising which might be especially appealing to minors Employing or using mascots, costumed characters, or sign spinners outside of your premises
  • Having any giveaways – including free food or beverages
  • Selling unauthorized merchandise other than what is allowed by law
  • Using coupons or “bring-this-to-get-that” type promotions
  • Providing alcohol to customers (or staff)
  • Allowing consumption of cannabis in the licensed premises or parking lot, sidewalk, etc;
  • Hosting or promoting “smoke friendly” events. The opening or consumption of cannabis is only allowed in private areas, outside of public view. If your event is advertised, or charges a fee to attend, or is held in a public place, it is likely not a private

The LCB’s mission is to protect public safety. You can help us to help you be successful by avoiding violations which could lead to fines or suspension of your retail cannabis license.  If you have any questions about cannabis rules, or want to run ideas for advertising or promotions by us, please do not hesitate to call your local Enforcement Officer before you take action.

Please visit our website at LCB.WA.GOV  for contact information and for more details on rules.

WSLCB Tier 1 Cannabis Producer Licensee Survey Report Now Available

WASHINGTON: Since December 2019, WSLCB has been considering revisions and new rule sections that would incrementally expand the plant canopy square footage allowed for Tier 1 licensed cannabis producers.

To understand the needs of Tier 1 licensees, LCB held two virtual Listen and Learn sessions on the topic and surveyed Tier 1 licensees.

Feedback has been gathered and analyzed and the results are now available in a report titled, “Tier 1 Cannabis Producer Licensee Survey Report” which has been posted on the LCB Current Rulemaking webpage.

Thank you to both survey and Listen and Learn participants. The LCB appreciates and values your time and input, and looks forward to working on this and other rule development projects with you in the future.

Canna Moms Are Good Moms Too

Hi. I’m Amanda, founder of Canna Mom’s Are Good Mom’s Too. A group that brings Moms, those who identify as and supporters together worldwide to educate them and spread more awareness to the cannabis plant and its medical benefits. Especially for mothers! Mothers that use the cannabis plant even with prescribed medical marijuana cards are feeling this stigma: Lazy Moms, Pot Head, can’t function high, “because a friend back in the day smoked and they were drug tripping for days”, it kills your brain cells, the list continues.

I’m a 35 year old mother living in the PNW. I suffer from Meniere’s Disease which has the worst side effects of vertigo and tinnitus. I as well have high anxiety and high ADHD. There were days my vertigo would bed rid me. Being a private daycare owner, only teacher, a wife and Mom, I can’t do that. I took two different prescribed CDC pills that aren’t actually made for either of those symptoms due to it’s a newer disease with little testing and no cure. One pill made me sick and the other a zombie. That doesn’t work either. Enter the wonderful world of finding the cannabis plant. I now can consume ONE medicine for my meniere’s, anxiety and ADHD.

Micro dosing through out the day I can stay level and not high as I could on an over the counter pill. Being able to stay level keeps me as me. Not bed ridden in a silent, completely dark room, always on the lookout for something that I should be doing, who I should be helping, feeling like I should be moving or touching something. I’ve missed moments I could have spent with my son or done a little extra for a daycare kid before cannabis, a little more for my husband. I’m happy now, calm, relaxed, can focus and be productive. I AM ME! I’m not running to the bathroom or so groggy and out of it I don’t remember certain parts. With that said, why can a man made pill or having a glass or five be okay when taken responsibility but a plant that heals more than any side effects or death rate isn’t?

Our group has over 1,300 Moms worldwide that are screaming me too! How can there be this many people, I know there are more and this still be so badly named over something that was wrongly accused over almost 100 years ago! Our group’s mission is to further education regarding this plant. To give Moms a safe place for support, call to see a friendly face, help and educate, to support and back science where needed for studying, membership groups and more.

The joy I feel everyday logging in and seeing the love all these people have for one another and everyday uplifting is beyond amazing. I want this discussion to be able to be as free and open as any medically regulated drug. Let people get the correct medical help they choose.

WSDA and WSLCB Release Updated List of Approved Cannabis Pesticides

LCB is sharing this message on behalf of WSDA:

Marijuana Producers, Processors, and Retailers

Bulletin No 21-01

To: Cannabis Industry 

Fr: WSLCB and WSDA

Re: Updated List of Pesticides Allowed for Use in Cannabis Production

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has recently updated the list of  pesticides that are allowed for use in marijuana production in Washington State, based on  criteria previously established by WSDA.

WSDA has added six new Section 3 pesticides and ten new Section 25(b) pesticides to the list of allowable products for a total of 16 new products. There were 21 Section 3 pesticides and 6 Section 25(b) pesticides removed from the list.  The updated list contains 241 Section 3 pesticides and 94 Section 25(b) pesticides, for a total of 335 products.

WSDA has two columns on the list: (1) Section 3 pesticides that are subject to Worker Protection Standard (WPS) requirements, and (2) Section 3 pesticides that are limited to use by non-commercial “HG Only” marijuana growers. The products designated as “HG Only=Yes” may only be used by those individuals authorized to home grow medical use marijuana.

Products marked as “HG Only=Yes” may not be used in the commercial production of marijuana.

Spray adjuvants are not included on the list—however any spray adjuvant that is labeled for use on food crops can be used with an allowed pesticide that is applied to marijuana, as long as the intended use is authorized by the spray adjuvant label. For example, a spray adjuvant labeled only for use with an herbicide cannot be used with an insecticide or fungicide. Information on spray adjuvants that are registered for distribution in Washington is available from the WSU PICOL database.

Please check your stock of pesticides against the list to ensure that you are using an allowed product. Marijuana growers can continue to use any existing stocks of pesticides that were removed from the list, but no new product can be purchased.

All of the pesticides that were added to the list contain active ingredients that were already allowed for use in marijuana production.

Some pesticides are labeled for application to soil or to crop plants, while some pesticides are labeled for application to both soil and crop plants (e.g., insecticides, fungicides). Other pesticides include herbicides labeled for direct application to, and control of, unwanted plants (i.e., weeds). Remember to read, understand, and comply with all applicable label directions and precautions when using any pesticide.

 Pesticides Added:              Registration Number

  1. Arcus Plant Growth Regulator for Seed Treatment.           EPA No. 84846-5
  2. Guarda EPA No. 92144-2-70299
  3. Milstop SP EPA No. 68539-3
  4. Proof cold-pressed Neem Oil EPA No. 88760-10
  5. Seican EPA No. 91473-2-88783
  6. Suppress Herbicide EC EPA No. 51517-9
  7. Earth’s Ally Disease Control No. 996600-20007
  8. Earth’s Ally Disease Control Concentrate No. 996600-20008
  9. Earth’s Ally Insect Control No. 996600-20002
  10. Earth’s Ally Insect Control Concentrate No. 996600-21002
  11. GroSafe Bio-Pesticide, Miticide, Fungicide No. 996330-20001
  12. Grower’s Ally Fungicide No. 996600-20005
  13. Grower’s Ally Fungicide Concentrate No. 996600-20006
  14. Grower’s Ally Spider Mite Control No. 996600-20001
  15. Grower’s Ally Spider Mite Control Concentrate No. 996600-20003
  16. Procidic C No. 999550-21002

Pesticides Removed:

  1. Actino-Iron Biological Fungicide EPA No. 73314-2
  2. Actinovate Ag Biological Fungicide EPA No. 73314-1
  3. Amicos EPA No. 91473-1
  4. Bayer Advanced Natria Disease Control RTU EPA No. 264-1161-72155
  5. Bayer Advanced Natria Insecticidal Soap RTU EPA No. 67702-21-72155
  6. Bayer Advanced Natria Neem Oil Concentrate EPA No. 67702-21-72155
  7. Carbon Power EPA No. 84846-2
  8. Companion Liquid Biological Fungicide for Ag Use EPA No. 71065-3
  9. Genesis Gib-4% EPA No. 55146-62-71089
  10. Gibgro 20% Powder (Gibberellic Acid) EPA No. 55146-53
  11. Gibgro 4LS (4% Liquid Gibberellic Acid) EPA No. 55146-62
  12. Grandevo PTO EPA No. 84059-17-87865
  13. Greencure EZ EPA No. 70870-3
  14. Omni Oil 6E EPA No. 5905-368
  15. Perox-Cide EPA No. 83103-1-43553
  16. Perpose Plus EPA No. 86729-1
  17. Prefence Biofungicide EPA No. 64137-5-68539
  18. Preferal Microbial Insecticide EPA No. 70051-19-67690
  19. Pyrenone Crop Spray EPA No. 432-1033
  20. Regalia PTO EPA No. 84059-3-87865
  21. The Ecology Works Soluneem EPA No. 81899-4-67419
  22. Eco-Mite Plus Botanical Insecticide Miticide No. 74578-14001
  23. Eco-Mite Plus Botanical Insecticide Miticide Concentrate No. 74578-14002
  24. Eco PM Botanical Fungicide Concentrate No. 74578-13003
  25. Eco-PM Ready to Use Botanical Fungicide No. 74578-13001
  26. Mildew Control No. 89943-15001
  27. Nematode Control No. 89943-13001

You can find the complete list of pesticides that are allowed for use in marijuana production, the criteria WSDA used to establish the list, and information regarding statewide stop-sale orders in Washington on the WSDA web site: https://agr.wa.gov/departments/marijuana/pesticide-use

Contact Information:

For information regarding the registration of pesticides and fertilizers, please contact the WSDA Pesticide and Fertilizer Registration

  • Phone: 360-902-2025

Email for pesticide registration: pestreg@agr.wa.gov Email for fertilizer registration: fertreg@agr.wa.gov

For information regarding how to comply with the pesticide label, please contact the WSDA Pesticide Compliance

For any other questions, please contact your Liquor and Cannabis Board enforcement officer.

WSLCB Reminds Licensees: Branded Or Unbranded Merchandise And Conditional Sales Prohibited

Enforcement and Education Bulletin No 21-01

 

 

To:                  Cannabis Industry Members

From:             Matt McCallum, Enforcement Advertising Coordinator

Subject:         Prohibited: branded or unbranded merchandise and conditional sales

As the cannabis industry continues to evolve and progress, the advertising produced and sold by cannabis licensees is becoming more and more creative. Although the LCB supports the creativity and promotion of cannabis businesses, it is important to remember that there are restrictions on what cannabis licensees can sell, and how it can be sold.

Please keep in mind that the distribution of branded or unbranded promotional items is prohibited under WAC 314-55-155(4), and conditional sales are prohibited under WAC 314-55-017.

What does this mean for licensees?

This means that a cannabis licensee in the state of Washington cannot brand, package with, or sell non-cannabis, or non-cannabis paraphernalia items, using their license. This includes but is not limited to t-shirts, stickers, drinking glasses, lanyards, and general swag items.

In addition, requiring the purchase of a non-cannabis item, such as paraphernalia or other non-cannabis products in order for the purchaser to obtain cannabis, is prohibited. This includes but is not limited to pipes, bongs, rolling papers, lighters, and branded merchandise.

Please note that licensees may sell paraphernalia together with cannabis either as separate items or in branded packaging, but the purchase of cannabis cannot be contingent upon the requirement to purchase the paraphernalia item. This means if a paraphernalia item is sold with or packaged with cannabis, the cannabis must also be available for sale separately and the cannabis cannot be available for a lesser amount when sold with the paraphernalia.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes, RCW 69.50.585, allows cannabis producers and processors to provide retailers and their employees with branded promotional items of nominal value. These items can only have the advertising matter of the producer or processor providing the items.  The items may not be forwarded on to the retail customers, through purchase or giveaway.

If you have any questions, please contact your compliance consultant or officer. Thanks you. for your review.

Civil Survival Project Sues Washington State and Counties For Unconstitutional Simple Drug Possession Penalties

WASHINGTON:  Civil Survival Project announced today that it is suing Washington State, King County, and Snohomish County on behalf of participants wrongfully convicted of simple narcotics possession under RCW 69.50.4013. As these participants had been convicted under an invalidated and unconstitutional law, Civil Survival is pursuing the cancellation of all legal financial obligations imposed under the statute, as well as return of all funds paid to date by individuals sentenced for simple possession. Representing Civil Survival and its members are the law firms of Outten & Golden LLP and Frank Freed Subit & Thomas LLP, as well as the Public Defender Association.

On February 25, 2021 in State v. Blake, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington struck down RCW 69.50.4013, the state’s strict liability felony drug possession statute, as unconstitutional. Under this statute, thousands of Washingtonians have been unduly penalized for simple possession of drugs. Drug prohibition has historically had a disproportionate impact on communities of color, putting legally innocent individuals under the duress of crippling debt, in addition to incarceration and other adverse consequences.

Civil Survival’s suit begins the process of remediation for the impacts of criminalization of drug possession and repairing harms against those who have been unjustly punished. Fines and fees are only a part of the injury that Civil Survival members and many others have suffered, but restoring these funds and canceling outstanding debt owed from these convictions is an immediate first step.

“I’ve seen first-hand how families were torn apart in the name of a war on drugs and tough-on-crime policies starting with minor offenses like possession,” said Cory Walster, community organizer for Civil Survival. “Rather than receiving help and wrap-around services [after my first drug conviction], we were given punitive punishment and a criminal record. Since the Blake decision, I have seen people in our community break down in tears thinking about all of the ‘what if’s’ and ‘if only’s,’ imagining what they could have been had they not gotten caught up in this system. Although we cannot change the past, now is the time to begin making things right.”

“As a result of the Blake decision, I have seen hope restored to many of those in the Civil Survival community as they think about the freedom that comes with vacating felony drug possession charges,” said Kelly Olson, policy manager for Civil Survival. “We have to stop criminalizing mental health issues and substance use disorders and treat the underlying trauma people are trying to heal from.”

In recent years, King and Snohomish Counties have been leaders in reducing the number of individuals facing prosecution and conviction for simple possession. These counties have instituted alternatives to prosecution and declined to file many drug possession cases in recognition that substance use issues do not belong in the criminal legal system. Their elected prosecutors recently both testified in support of HB 1499, a legislative proposal to decriminalize simple possession of drugs and instead invest in outreach, treatment and recovery supports for people with substance use disorders. Additionally, King County supported that effort with legislative advocacy. These two counties are defendants, not because they are uniquely responsible, but because the entire machinery of the criminal legal system throughout our state has been engaged in imposition of penalties under this invalid law.  We now need a process to rapidly undo that harm, even in the jurisdictions that commendably have recently recognized that we have been on the wrong path for decades.

“The Washington Supreme Court’s Blake decision is a victory for racial justice and the rule of law,” said Adam T. Klein, managing partner for Outten & Golden LLP. “As noted by the Court, the felony drug possession statute ‘has affected thousands upon thousands of lives, and its impact has hit young men of color especially hard.’ This lawsuit is intended to restore the rights of people – and notably a disproportionate number of Black and Latino people – who were convicted of an unconstitutional and unduly harsh statute that included prison time and severe costs and fines.”