WSLCB Looking For Panelists For Its First Deliberative Dialogue Sessions

Be a Panelist, Participant, or Listener

WASHINGTON:  Do you want to share your perspectives about cannabis quality assurance testing? Would you like to share your experiences with fellow licensees, consumers, and others? Would you like to be part of a different way of sharing information and gaining understanding?

If you answered “yes,” let us know!

WSLCB has been working on developing new cannabis product-testing rules. A public hearing on proposed rules was held on November 18, 2020. While we heard oral comment from many licensees, we would like to hear from everyone in the supply chain so we have a better understanding of the complete system – processors, producers, retailers, consumers, and others. And we want everyone in the supply chain to have an opportunity to hear the wide range of perspectives

We’d like to hear from everyone in the supply chain so we have a better understanding of the complete system – processors, producers, retailers, consumers, and others. And we want everyone in the supply chain to have an opportunity to hear the wide range of perspectives.

About the sessions

LCB’s Policy and Rules manager Kathy Hoffman will moderate three sessions with different panelists and topics. To get the conversation started the sessions begin with prepared questions for each panel, with time near the end for audience questions and participation (online of course). Our goal is to increase communication between consumers, licensees, labs, and the agency.

The three session dates and topics as follows:

  • January 28, 2020: Consumer Panel (4 -5 panelists)
  • February 4, 2020: Processor/Producer Panel (5-6 panelists)
  • February 11, 2020: Cannabis Testing Lab Panel (4 -5 panelists)

We want to make sure that each panel represents the rich diversity of our communities, license types, and growing practices. Can you help?

Please send the following information to rules@lcb.wa.gov, attention Kathy Hoffman by close of business (5PM) on TUESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2020:

  1. Your name
  2. Which of the three panels and dates you’d like to be considered for
  3. Your contact information (email and phone number)
  4. Tell us if you are a consumer, producer, processor, producer/processor, retailer or lab employee or owner
  5. If you are a processor, producer or processor/producer, tell us:
    • Your tier size (1, 2,or 3); whether you are an indoor or outdoor grower; and where you are located.
  6. Tell us three or four questions you’d like to ask others on your panel (for example, how do other producers sample? Or, when you purchase product, what are you looking for?)

We will be sending more information on the deliberative dialogue process, our panelist selection process, and other details.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to offer your perspectives on an important topic – send your information to rules@lcb.wa.gov, type in the subject line “Attention Kathy Hoffman” today!!

Washington Liquor And Cannabis Board Issues First Marijuana Research License

wslcb

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) has issued the state’s first license to produce, process and possess marijuana for research purposes. The license was issued to Verda Bio Research in Seattle, who are conducting research on cannabinoid-based therapeutics.

“This is an important milestone for Washington’s marijuana industry,” said Director Rick Garza. “We’re hopeful that the research will assist policy makers as we grapple with this emerging industry.”

Research licensees are permitted to produce, process and possess marijuana for limited research purposes: to test chemical potency and composition levels; conduct clinical investigations of marijuana-derived drug products; conduct research on the efficacy and safety of administering marijuana as part of medical treatment; and to conduct genomic or agricultural research. Applicants are investigated and must meet the same criteria as other marijuana businesses including security, distance from restricted areas, traceability, etc.

In addition to the above requirements applications are also vetted through an independent third party scientific reviewer. The role of the reviewer is to assess the project’s quality, study design, value, and/or impact. They also review whether applicants have the appropriate personnel, expertise, facilities/infrastructure, funding, and human/animal/other federal approvals in place to successfully conduct the project.

Research projects must pass both the scientific review and licensing requirements before the application is approved.

Washington State Legal Cannabis By The Numbers: February 1, 2018 – May 24, 2018

WASHINGTON:  The below statistics cover activity in Leaf Data Systems for the time period between February 1, 2018 and May 24, 2018.

The below statistics cover activity in Leaf Data Systems for the time period between February 1, 2018 and May 24, 2018.

The below statistics cover activity in Leaf Data Systems for the time period between February 1, 2018 and May 24, 2018.

WA NORML 2017 State Of The Session Report

By Bailey Hirschburg

While the special session called by Gov. Jay Inslee wrapped up on July 20th, the majority of Washington NORML’s lobby work was completed in early May. The best summary of our WA NORML’s legislative impact and agenda process is that it was appropriately ambitious. While several goals, personal cultivation for adults and social use, remain unaddressed, valuable progress towards consumer safety, patient access, industrial hemp, and marijuana research was achieved. Changes for licensees have varied from useful to burdensome, but overall the state legislature is invested in maintaining legal access and possession for adults.

As an advocacy group, WA NORML is gaining greater standing and familiarity, with legislators who have begun recommending us to constituents with questions about cannabis issues, to legislators speaking frankly about their own cannabis use or impressions of their districts, or with our position on the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB)’s Cannabis Advisory Council. Today, other groups have represented the medical patient or licensee community longer, but WA NORML has grown to be the most experienced recreational consumer lobby in the state.

Beyond the direct lobbying of the state legislature on nearly two dozen bills, throughout the session I represented WA NORML at events, organized a lobby day and reception, engaged with media coverage, wrote editorial articles and legislative updates to Exec. Director Kevin Oliver and board members, developed familiarity/relationships with specific lawmakers, staff, fellow lobbying groups, and engaged with LCB enforcement, legislative, and rules staff on current practices and active legislation. There are also clear ways to improve PAC effectiveness with a set meeting schedule or issue-focused workgroups.

The future of legal cannabis in Washington is secure. State agencies and key officials are committed to state legal access and economic footprint. The voices for prohibition or criminalization of personal use in Olympia are few and isolated. There is lawmakers receptiveness to every key issue we’ve addressed. Some, like legal sharing/gifting of cannabis had enough support to move this year. Other issues, like access for student-patients, and personal cultivation moved some distance, while social use legislation didn’t find a sponsor in time.

However, sharing/gifting and removal of industrial hemp from the controlled substances act are positive changes that represent “low hanging buds” of positive reforms. Personal cultivation and social use face stronger opposition. Both are divisive within law enforcement and even the legal marijuana industry. Our developing mission to include small, local marijuana business is gradually being incorporated as we develop a portfolio of relevant lobby issues.

Nonetheless, WA NORML is well positioned to speak more forcefully for consumers going forward. Through a seat on the Cannabis Advisory Council organized by the LCB, and through rallying stakeholder testimony and shaping a public narrative as the LCB’s personal cultivation report progresses. Finally, we’re identifying lawmakers to fundraise for or make direct contributions to in the upcoming election cycle. In short, we’re growing in all the ways a successful lobbying operation should.

There is always ways to learn and improve. The two significant ones are to get an earlier start scheduling our events and anticipating legislation’s trajectory.

As I was hired the first day of this year’s session and spent some time identifying who to meet with, only to find their calendar full, or significant legislation already introduced. Scheduling also impacted our lobbying day, which drew a large crowd and allowed us to press for action on a variety of issues, but was past a cutoff for new bills to be introduced, and had lawmakers working late and largely unable to attend our evening reception.

A better posture towards initial scheduling will further our influence on bills. And such a schedule should take into account not only legislation’s current position but who or what bodies it will need to clear in the following days and weeks. Because next year’s legislative session is short, the schedule for progress is similarly shortened. While the lobby proposal budgeted for 18 hours a week, the future may necessitate more hours each week for a shorter session.

These changes allow direct lobbying efforts to focus on priority issues. Some board members have already contributed in the ways described, but this will have greater impact as it becomes routine.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank you all for your support and trust in this project. I’m not a big cannabis social media personality. I don’t think we need more of them as badly as we need more regular lobbyists, in more statehouses, speaking up for more consumers. The word revolution is thrown around a lot in politics. That said, WA NORML’s lobby efforts are a revolution that blooms from NORML’s tradition of citizen activism to include regular consumer lobby efforts.

The cannabis consumer has lots of reasons not to speak up. I work a second job, and overheard one coworker recently tell another “Sure, I smoke pot, but I’m not going to, like, talk about it.” I know exactly why they were hesitating, because I have too. There are many reasons not to speak up. But we deserve to be heard in government, even if speaking entails risk. Thanks to WA NORML, you have given all consumers, and me, a louder voice than ever in the pot politics of Evergreen State. I’m humbled, and simultaneously certain better changes can be achieved.