Gov. Inslee Appoints David Postman as Chair of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board

WASHINGTON:  The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) today announces that Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed David Postman as Chair of the LCB Board.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Postman had served as Gov. Inslee’s chief of staff from Dec. 2015 until Nov. 15, 2020. He served in the Inslee Administration since the governor took office in 2013, first serving as his executive director of communications. Before joining the administration, Postman served as a senior director at Vulcan Inc., the company headed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Mr. Postman has a 26-year career as an award-winning journalist in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, including 14 years working as a political reporter for The Seattle Times.

“David has extensive experience bringing people together to work through complex and difficult issues,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “He is able to listen to divergent viewpoints and synthesize feedback to move toward resolution. He is committed to transparency and openness, and knows state government well. I know David will make an excellent addition to the LCB Board and I am so glad that he will continue to serve the people of Washington.”

The Board is composed of three members appointed by the Governor to six-year terms. The Board holds regular public meetings and work sessions with stakeholders, makes policy and budget decisions, and adjudicates contested license applications and enforcement actions on licensees. Board members also hired the agency’s Director, Rick Garza, who manages day-to-day operations. The agency has licensing, enforcement, tax collection and/or regulatory roles concerning alcohol, cannabis, vape and tobacco. It has a staff of approximately 350.

“David has been part of the LCB’s efforts to help get Washington’s pioneering regulated cannabis system off the ground from the beginning,” said Garza. “He helped demonstrate to the U.S. Dept. of Justice that Washington State could safely implement a safe and orderly system. Ultimately, the Justice Department issued the Cole Memo which stipulated the federal government’s concerns going forward.”

Mr. Postman succeeds former Board Chair Jane Rushford whose term expired in Feb. 2021.

“Jane served as the consummate professional. I thank her for her service to the Board, its employees and for her many contributions,” said Postman. “I am looking forward to carrying on efforts begun under her tenure, particularly the Board’s efforts to increase diversity and equity within the state’s regulated cannabis system.”

Mr. Postman begins his six-year term March 15, 2021. He joins current Board Members Ollie Garrett and Russ Hauge.

2 Tapped To Fill Washington Liquor Board Vacancies

WASHINGTON: Gov. Jay Inslee nominated a former Kitsap County prosecutor and a veteran state employee Wednesday to the three-member board that oversees the state’s liquor and marijuana industries.

Russ Hauge, a Democrat, was the longest-serving elected prosecutor in Kitsap County’s history. He was in office two decades before he was narrowly unseated by Republican Tina Robinson in November.

The other nominee is Jane Rushford, who will serve as board chairwoman. She has held various positions in state government in the past 30 years. She is the former deputy director of the Department of Enterprise Services, and previously served as a policy adviser to the Department of Natural Resources and on the Democratic staff in the House of Representatives.

Hauge and Rushford are being named to posts being vacated by Liquor Control Board members Sharon Foster and Chris Marr, who helped oversee the launch of the state’s legal marijuana industry.

The nominees face confirmation in the state Senate, but they can start work on their six-year terms before they’re confirmed.