WASHINGTON: WSLCB September 16 Board Activity

WASHINGTON: The WSLCB Board met yesterday, September 16, 2020. During the meeting, the following actions were taken:

WASHINGTON: Virtual Listen And Learn Forum Session #1: Rules Regarding Marijuana Definitions And Vapor Products

WASHINGTON:  The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is hosting two Listen and Learn forums to consider establishing new and amending existing sections of rule concerning marijuana definitions and marijuana vapor products. This is the first of two planned sessions. The full text of the draft conceptual rules are provided here.

For this session, we are discussing only draft conceptual rule sections 314-55-010(4) and (40) to implement House Bill 2826 pertaining to marijuana vapor products.

Please join us virtually on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. until 3:45 p.m. via WebEx.

Background
On March 25, 2020, HB 2826 passed the legislature in response to concerns related to marijuana vapor product and vapor related lung illnesses. The bill contained an emergency clause, and in its intent section, found that “recent reports of lung illnesses associated with vapor products” demanded “serious attention by the state in the interest of protecting public health and preventing youth access.

HB 2826 provides that the Board may adopt rules prohibiting any type of marijuana vapor product device, or prohibit the use of any type of additive, solvent, ingredient, or compound in the production and processing of marijuana products, including marijuana vapor products. However, before adopting either of these types of rules, the Board must have determined, following a consultation with the Department of Health (DOH), or any other authority the Board deems appropriate, the device, additive, solvent, ingredient, or compound may pose a risk to public health or youth access.

HB 2826 authorizes the Board to require marijuana processors to submit, under oath, to the Department of Health, a complete list of all constituent substances and the amount and sources of all constituent substances in each marijuana vapor product. HB 2826 also provides that Board may adopt rules prohibiting the use of a characterizing flavor in marijuana vapor products.

Rules are needed to implement the provisions of HB 2826, and to establish definitions for terms including, but not limited to “characterizing flavor,” botanical terpenes,” and others.

The Pre-proposal Statement of Inquiry filed by the Liquor and Cannabis Board may be found here.

Meeting Details
An agenda is attached. Please come prepared to offer feedback and suggestions regarding this rule section.

If you wish to participate virtually, we’d like to offer the following reminders:

  • Virtual participation will be structured to allow one speaker at a time through a hand-raising feature on WebEx.
  • If you experience difficulty with audio or visual elements of virtual participation, please be patient.

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.

Questions? Contact Casey Schaufler at casey.schaufler@lcb.wa.gov

To join the WebEx meeting online:
https://watech.webex.com/watech/j.php?MTID=mee35a3ea86f3824ff52650252c672ee9

To join the WebEx meeting via audio conference only:

  • Toll Free: 1-855-929-3239
  • Toll: 415-655-0001
  • Access Code: 133 951 6990

Washington: WSLCB Virtual Listen and Learn Forum: Rules Regarding Tier 1 Producer Licensing, Session #1

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is hosting two Listen and Learn forums about the current rules regarding marijuana producer licenses, specifically the consideration of revisions and new rule sections that would incrementally expand the plant canopy square footage allowed for licensed Tier 1 producers. This is the first of two planned sessions. Session #1 will cover WAC 314-55-075 Sections 1 through 5. Session #2 will focus on Sections 6 through 11. The full text of WAC 314-55-075 is provided here.

Please join us virtually on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. via WebEx in alignment with guidance and recommendations issued by the Governor’s office.

As you may recall, the Board began to consider revisions to existing producer license rules by initiating a formal rule inquiry on December 18, 2019. The Pre-proposal Statement of Inquiry filed by the Liquor and Cannabis Board may be found here.

The Board has received requests from medical marijuana patients and segments of the industry to increase the availability of Department of Health (DOH) compliant product in licensed retail stores. The Board has also learned that smaller producers are concerned about business sustainability based on canopy space restrictions. Recognizing this, the Board would like to explore the ways that it can support Tier 1 producer business viability. Revisions considered may also include clarifying and technical updates to existing rule within the scope of this topic.

An agenda is attached to help you prepare. Please come prepared to offer feedback and suggestions regarding this rule section.

If you wish to join us virtually, we’d like to offer the following reminders:

  • Virtual participation will be structured to allow one speaker at a time though the hand-raising feature on WebEx.
  • If you experience difficulty with audio or visual elements of virtual participation, please be patient.

Please remember that we are still in the developmental phase of rule-making, 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.

Questions? Contact Casey Schaufler at casey.schaufler@lcb.wa.gov

To join the WebEx meeting online:

https://watech.webex.com/watech/onstage/g.php?MTID=e1886460dce4a796b28a08402e1a194b6

To join the WebEx meeting via audio conference only:

Toll Free: 1-855-929-3239
Access Code: 133 082 7909

WSLCB Notice of Continued Public Hearing WSR 20-07-052

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board has continued the public hearing on WSR 20-03-176 regarding marijuana quality control rule revisions, originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. to Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

As a result of this continuance, the public comment period has been extended to the close of business on April 1, 2020.

This notice and other relevant rulemaking materials may be viewed at lcb.wa.gov/laws/laws-and-rules under Proposed Rules.

The Liquor and Cannabis Board encourages your participation in the rulemaking process by giving input on this rule. The board will hold at least one public hearing before the rules are adopted.

Public Comment

Please forward your initial comments to the Liquor and Cannabis Board by mail, e-mail, or fax by April 1, 2020.

By mail:   Rules Coordinator                 By e-mail:              By fax:

                Liquor and Cannabis Board    rules@lcb.wa.gov    360-664-9689

                P.O. Box 43080

                Olympia, WA  98504-3080

Public          April 1, 2020

Hearing:       10:00 a.m.

                    Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board – Board Room

                    1025 Union Avenue

                    Olympia, WA  98501

Listen And Learn Forum RESCHEDULED: Draft Conceptual Rules Regarding Voluntary Licensee Consultation And Education Program Rules

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) has rescheduled a Listen and Learn forum about draft conceptual rules regarding the voluntary cannabis licensee consultation and education program to accommodate concerns around the COVID-19 outbreak. 

WASHINGTON: The meeting originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 11, 20020 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. has been changed to Wednesday, March 17, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. via zoom only. This meeting is being conducted in a virtual environmentin alignment with guidance and recommendations issued by the Governor’s office.

As you may recall, the Board began to consider revisions to existing enforcement guidelines by initiating a formal rule inquiry under in October, 2018. Those efforts were extended by the passage of Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill (ESSB) 5318 during the 2019 regular session of the Washington State legislature, and a completely redesigned penalty rule framework was adopted on January 22, 2020.

ESSB 5318 emphasized a strong focus on compliance, education, and enforcement in the oversight of the regulated cannabis market. The bill mandated that in addition to revising existing penalty rules, that the Board adopt rules to perfect and expand existing programs for compliance education for licensed cannabis businesses and their employees. The program must include recommendations on abating violations described in chapter 69.50 RCW, and be developed in consultation with licensees and their employees. The Board approved the filing of a CR101 on July 17, 2019 as WSR 19-15-074 to begin this work.

Following recruitment of licensees, WSLCB held two meetings to develop the draft conceptual rules we’ll be discussing during this Listen and Learn session. These draft conceptual rules reflect an engaged and inclusive developmental process that embodies not only WSLCB’s commitment to regulatory stability and consistency, but the intent of ESSB 5318, and the input of licensees.

An agenda is attached to help you prepare. Please come prepared to offer feedback and suggestions regarding this new rule section and the draft conceptual rules.

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

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

To join the zoom meeting:
https://zoom.us/j/209320724?pwd=THljajRPTHBud1lGcUZxYko4aEp5QT09

Meeting ID: 209 320 724

Password: 240732

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WSLCB Investigation Finds Illegal Marijuana Activity At Olympia’s “Northwest Alternative Care”

The store was not licensed to sell marijuana

WASHINGTON: During an undercover investigation, Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) officers purchased illegal marijuana from an unlicensed marijuana retailer located at 2210 Black Lake Boulevard SW in Olympia. Under state law, marijuana may only be sold from a licensed marijuana retail store.Northwest Alternative Care

Between September and October, undercover LCB officers made three buys of marijuana at the store. LCB officers subsequently obtained a search warrant for Northwest Alternative Care. In partnership with the Olympia Police Department, LCB enforcement officers executed the search warrant Wednesday Oct. 16, 2019.

The officers located and seized over a pound of marijuana flower. Officers also seized a large quantity of marijuana concentrates and marijuana-infused edible products being offered for sale. Many of the marijuana-infused products would have been illegal to sell in the regulated marketplace, including rice crispy treats, gummy bears, and flavored vapor products.

The owner was arrested by LCB officers and booked into the Thurston County jail for the marijuana crimes. The marijuana, cash, electronic devices, and business records were seized as evidence. Officers will be recommending felony charges for Unlawful Possession and Delivery of a Controlled Substance (RCW 69.50.401).

The investigation was prompted by complaints from the community alleging that the store was selling marijuana without a license, selling marijuana to minors, selling product that made a customer ill, and attracting criminal activity to the area, including attempted armed robberies.

WSLCB Adopts Emergency Rules Following Flavored Vapor Ban

WSLCB

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (Board) today adopted emergency rules consistent with the directives of Executive Order 19-03, dated September 27, 2019. On October 10, 2019, the Washington State Board of Health followed by issuing emergency rules that prohibited the sale of flavored vapor products by persons licensed under chapter 69.50 or 70.345 RCW.

To carry out the directive established by EO 19-03 and State Board of Health emergency rules, today’s emergency rules require two actions by licensees.

  1. Marijuana licensees must disclose all compounds, including but not limited to ingredients, solvents, additives, preservatives, thickening agents, terpenes and other substances used to produce or added to marijuana concentrates for inhalation or marijuana-infused extracts for inhalation at any point during production and processing, regardless of source and origin.

Because the outbreak of lung disease is occurring now and growing, the immediate adoption of rule requiring disclosure of compounds and other substances added to marijuana concentrates for inhalation or marijuana-infused extracts for inhalation is necessary for the preservation of public health, safety and general welfare by assisting public health officials in isolating the compounds and products that may be connected to the recent outbreak of lung disease.

This disclosure form can be found here. Please follow the instructions within the document and submit to mjdisclosureform@lcb.wa.gov.

  1. Executive Order 19-03 orders and directs the Board to provide consumer warnings by requiring that warning signs regarding the posting of warning signs regarding the health risks of vaping at retailers where vapor products containing THC are sold. The Board worked with the industry representatives and marijuana licensees to develop these warning signs.

This emergency rule requires licensed marijuana retailers to conspicuously post a warning sign provided by the Board regarding the health risks of vapor products where vapor products, as defined by WAC 246-80-010(12), are sold. The sign may be downloaded from the Liquor and Cannabis Board website here.

Note: please note that this sign is different than the sign provided earlier. Today’s Board action aligns all signs within the marijuana and vapor/tobacco marketplaces

This notice can be found at lcb.wa.gov/laws/laws-and-rules.

WSLCB Issues Marijuana Packaging & Labeling: Rules And Process Update

Dear Stakeholders:

As you may know, we have been working on revisions to marijuana packaging and labeling rules. We filed a CR-101 on May 29, 2019, to consider two rule making petitions, further discuss the addition of board interim polices 05-2018, 07-2018, 08-2018, 09-2018, and 10-2018 to implement Engrossed Senate Substitute Bill (ESSB) 5298.

ESSB 5298 allows additional information on the packaging and labeling of marijuana products to assist consumers when making purchases of these products. The additional information may include structure and function claims on Department of Health (DOH) compliant products, as well as directions or recommended conditions of use, or a warning that describes the product’s psychoactive effect for all marijuana products.

Stakeholder engagement is encouraged during the rule development process.  The Liquor and Cannabis Board anticipates hosting facilitated listen and learn sessions in September and October, and invites your feedback on draft conceptual rules that will be released in mid-September.

While we are in the rule development phase, packaging submissions containing information associated with ESSB 5298 will not be accepted.  It is early in the process and the effective date of ESSB 5298 is January 1, 2020. We anticipate accepting this type of packaging and labeling submission described in ESSB 5298 starting December 2019 following rule adoption, but before the anticipated rule effective date of January 1, 2020. We ask that you hold any packaging and labeling submissions related to ESSB 5298 until that time.

Thank you for your continued partnership and commitment to the rule development process.

Questions? Contact the Licensing Division – Label Approval at labelapproval@lcb.wa.gov.

Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board Extends Interim Packaging and Labeling Requirements

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) extended Board Interim Policies 5,7,8,9,10-2018 regarding Packaging and Labeling requirements to July 1, 2020.

The WSCLB began a rule development project on May 29, 2019 to redesign packaging and labeling rules (View CR-101 and Issue Paper). This comprehensive rule overhaul project, designed to reduce the complexity, and increase readability of the current rules, will  provide opportunities for licensees to offer comment and input throughout the rule development process, including “Listen and Learn” forums that allow for in-person feedback.  You can expect more communication in the coming months.

WSLCB Issues New Mandatory Warning Sign For All Cannabis Retailers

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) announced Thursday, May 2, that a new, mandatory sign must be posted in all licensed establishments effective June 1(view the bulletin: Notice May 2).

WSLCB Warning Poster 2019LCB and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) created the mandatory warning sign to educate the public about the harms of cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Starting June 1, 2019, marijuana retail shops are required to prominently display the sign. You may download and print the sign using the above link.  

For questions regarding the signage please contact WSLCB Rules Coordinator Kathy Hoffman at 360-664-1622 or Katherine.Hoffman@lcb.wa.gov or contact your enforcement officer.