Oregon And Washington’s Top Marijuana Regulators In Conversation At 2019 Cannabis Collaborative Conference

OLCC to Provide Program, Rules Updates at Portland Expo on January 23, 2019

OREGON: The top regulators from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board will reprise their conversation on the state of the legal cannabis industry in their respective states at the 2019 Cannabis Collaborative Conference (CCC).

On Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 9 a.m. at the Portland Expo Center, OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks, and WSLCB Director Rick Garza, will talk about the similar and different issues regulators are working on in Oregon and Washington.

Their conversation will be the keynote kick off for the 2019 CCC and will include observations about testing standards and consumer safety, product demand, and the work to standardize regulations across state lines as more states legalize adult use cannabis.

OLCC policy staff will also be on CCC panels discussing: OLCC Policies & Rules – Three Years in the Making, What’s Next?, OLCC Compliance Updates,Regulations and Profitability: A Listening Session, Hemp Rules and Regulation Updates, and The Future of Enforcement.

During both conference days – Wednesday, January 23, and Thursday January 24 -policy experts from the OLCC and other state agencies including:  Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Department of Revenue, and Oregon Water Resources Department will be available to answer questions at the OLCC booth on the conference exhibit floor.  Look for the state regulators at Booth 125 at the southwest end of the exhibit floor.

For OLCC Marijuana Program licensees and medical marijuana registrants participating in the OMMP Marijuana Tracking program, the OLCC will present information sessions at the Portland Expo Center, in the lobby of Building E next door to the Cannabis Collaborative Conference covering Recreational Marijuana Program and Rules updates, a Packaging and Labeling program update, and an OMMP Marijuana Tracking Program update.  Admission to the conference is NOT required to attend the OLCC programs.

Register for the OLCC information sessions here

Wink-In-Weed: Cannabis Class Is In Session

By David Rheins 

Class is in session for participants in Washington’s legal cannabis trade.  Coming off of the collegial CCC show in Portland, Team MJBA is back in Western Washington this week continuing our quest to provide professional education and promote best business practices for our nascent industry.

Collaboration was the theme of CCC 2016

Collaboration was the theme of CCC 2016

On Tuesday, February 13th,  6-8:30 at the Factory Luxe  in Seattle, MJBA and NWMJ Law will present,“Managing Your 502 Business,” a 2-hour bootcamp designed to review essential business basics, tools and best practices that every I-502 licensed business should follow.  Attorney Anne Van Leynseele, NWMJ Law, will lead the this 2-hour interactive bootcamp, aided by a VIP Panel of cannabis business experts, including Norm Ives, Mosaic Insurance, CPA Dani Espinda, and business consultant Debbie Whitlock.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mshbd7MS3E&w=560&h=315]

Seating is limited, so reserve your place today!

Thursday, February 18 is the start of CannaCon,  a 3-day celebration of all things canna-business at Pier 91 on Seattle’s waterfront.  This year marks MJBA’s fourth CannaCon.   It has been truly amazing to witness as the show and the industry develop together. CannaCon founder Bob Smart was one of MJBA’s first business members, joining us back in the fall of 2013!

In preparation for the show, Bob, Dave Mesford and I paid a visit to KLAY 1180 AM last week, appearing on “The 411 on 420” talk show, hosted by Amy Ansel and Darrel Bowman.

The 411 on 420, hosted by Amy Ansel and Darrel Bowman

The 411 on 420, hosted by Amy Ansel and Darrel Bowman

Billed as “the world’s largest cannabis marketplace for products, services and ideas” the 2015 Seattle event claimed more than 11,000 attendees, over 200 exhibitors and 50 educational sessions, with over $6 million in business conducted on the floor.”  This year’s CannaCon promises to be even bigger, with a complete sell out of exhibitor booths, and an all-star lineup of speakers.  The event seminar schedule features three separate tracks: Cultivation, Technology and Business Development, and includes some of the industry’s top voices, including Ed RosenthalAh Warner, Megan Schwarting, Farmer Tom Lauerman, Aaron Pelley, Don Wirtshafter and Kyle Kushman

Canna Con 2016

I will have the honor of playing moderator for much of the Business Track sessions on Thursday and Friday.  We’ll cover a host of important topics. I’m particularly excited about our “Town Hall” session Thursday at 1PM with Washington’s top cannabis regulators: WSLCB Director Rick Garza, Washington Department of Agriculture’s Steve Fuller, and the Washington Department of Health’s Kristi Weeks.

MJBA’s Morgan will be moderating and participating on a Women in Cannabis Panel, along with Crystal Oliver, Danielle Rosellison, Sharon Whitson and Shawn DeNae.

Marijuana Channel One will be capturing all the excitement. Look for our live streaming and tweets, and our exclusive interviews with industry thought leaders here.

Washington LCB To Increase Number Of Retail Marijuana Stores Following Analysis Of Marketplace

WASHINGTON: Following an analysis of the entire marijuana marketplace in Washington State, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) today heard a recommendation from staff to increase the number of retail marijuana stores from the current cap of 334 to a new cap of 556. The methodology for the cap will be part of emergency rules which will be announced Jan. 6, 2016. The allocation of retail licenses determined by the board will be published on the WSLCB website at lcb.wa.gov.

“Our goal was clear; to ensure medical patients have access to the products they need,” said WSLCB Director Rick Garza. “There will be more storefronts for patients going forward than are available today. In addition, qualified patients can grow their own or join a four-member cooperative.”

Earlier this year the legislature enacted, and Gov. Inslee signed, legislation (SSB 5052) entitled the Cannabis Patient Protection Act. The new law charges the WSLCB, the state Department of Health and other agencies with drafting regulations that integrate the medical marijuana marketplace into the tightly controlled recreational marketplace. The WSLCB is charged with licensing retail applicants using a priority-based system.

Priority Licensing System

  • First priority applicants are those who applied for a marijuana retail license prior to July 1, 2014, operated (or were employed by) a collective garden prior to January 1, 2013, have maintained a state and local business license and have a history of paying state taxes and fees.
  • Second priority applicants are those who operated (or were employed by) a collective garden prior to January 1, 2013, have maintained a state and local business license, and have a history of paying state taxes and fees.
  • Third priority applicants are those who don’t meet the first or second criteria.

The WSLCB began accepting license applications on Oct. 12, 2015. Thus far, the WSLCB has received 1,194 retail applications. Of those who have applied, 39 have been determined as priority one and 42 have been determined as priority two. Applicants must still meet all other WSLCB licensing criteria before being licensed.

Proportionate Allocation based on Medical Sales
The number of retail locations will be determined using a method that distributes the number of locations proportionate to the most populous cities within each county and to accommodate the medical needs of qualifying patients and designated providers. Locations not assigned to a specific city will be at large.

WSLCB will increase the number of available licenses in the ten counties with the highest medical sales by 100 percent. Exceptions include Yakima and Benton Counties which have bans and moratoria in all major population centers. The 100 percent increase will transfer to the next two highest for medical needs, Skagit and Cowlitz Counties. Those counties and jurisdictions not in the top ten for medical sales will receive an increase of the number of licensees by 75 percent.

In addition to new retail licensees, 70 percent of existing retail recreational marijuana stores have received an endorsement on their license to sell medical marijuana.

BOTEC Analysis Corporation Report
BOTEC Analysis Corporation provided its final report, Estimating the Size of the Medical Cannabis Market in Washington State, on Dec. 15, 2015. In its report, BOTEC provided a range of the value of the overall marijuana market in Washington State. Its best estimate of the overall market value is a median figure at $1.3 billion annually. Its best estimate on the breakdown is: $480M medical (37 percent of market), $460M state-licensed recreational stores (35 percent of market) and $390M illicit (28 percent of the market).

Washington Pot Lottery Starts This Week

WASHINGTON: Retail stores in Washington State will need a license to sell pot. A lottery will start Monday to determine who can open up shop.

The state Liquor Control Board received 2,100 applications for retail stores but they’ll only issue 334.

Rick Garza, the control board’s director, talked with KING 5’s Mark Wright about the lottery process and when legal pot sales will start.

Are Washington State Dispensaries Doomed?

WASHINGTON: In June, the state legislature created a work group to make recommendations on regulating medical cannabis, which has been legal since 1998 but remains largely unregulated, now that pot is also legal for recreational purposes. The work group consists of two members each from the state’s health department, revenue department, and liquor board, as well as the governor’s office and legislative staff. [Read more…]