Washington: WSLCB Extended Public Comment Period For Supplemental Proposed Rules

WSR #20-20-040:  Quality Control Testing and Products Requirements

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board has extended the public comment period for input on supplemental proposed rules regarding marijuana quality control rules described in chapter 314-55 WAC.

This notice and other relevant rule-making 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 rule-making process by giving input on this rule.

Public Comment
Please forward your initial comments to the Liquor and Cannabis Board by mail, e-mail, or fax by November 19, 2020.

By mail:
Rules Coordinator
Liquor and Cannabis Board
P.O. Box 43080
Olympia, WA 98504-3080

By e-mail:
rules@lcb.wa.gov

By fax:
360-664-9689

State Regulators Start “Cannabis Regulators Association”

Group will help navigate cannabis regulations at federal, state, and local levels

OREGON:  Today state cannabis regulators from across the United States announced formation of a non-partisan organization, the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA), to better share institutional knowledge and regulatory best practices. Cannabis regulators from 19 states have joined in filing documents to establish CANNRA, which is being created in order to assist federal, state, and local jurisdictions that have approved or are weighing legalization of cannabis.

“The Cannabis Regulators Association will provide a much needed forum for regulators to engage with each other to identify and develop best practices, create model policies that safeguard public health and safety, and promote regulatory certainty for industry participants,” said Norman Birenbaum, CANNRA’s inaugural president.

For years, cannabis regulators across the country have relied on each other to share regulatory experiences, institutional expertise, and to provide assistance navigating the numerous evolving policy and regulatory issues associated with legalizing and regulating cannabis. Often the first step for state and local jurisdictions weighing legalization is to engage with regulators from established markets and programs. However, there has never been an organization to facilitate these interactions or help stakeholders find objective data and evidence-based approaches to policymaking and implementation.

The Cannabis Regulators Association is not an advocacy group and takes no formal position for or against cannabis legalization, but rather seeks to provide government jurisdictions with unbiased information to help make informed decisions when considering whether or how to legalize or expand regulated cannabis.

CANNRA will facilitate communication and information sharing between subject matter experts in regulatory approaches for industrial hemp, medical cannabis, and adult-use cannabis. This will include exchanges with research organizations, public health officials, policymakers, legal authorities, advocacy groups, and cannabis industry participants.

 “The association will strive to create and promote harmony and standardization across jurisdictions which choose to legalize and regulate cannabis,” said Birenbaum. Birenbaum currently serves as the Director of Cannabis Programs for New York State.  “The Cannabis Regulators Association will also work to ensure federal officials benefit from the vast experiences of states across the nation to ensure any changes to federal law adequately address states’ needs and priorities,” he said.

CANNRA founding members include the principal cannabis regulators from 19 states: Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington.

“I am proud that the nation’s first Cannabis Regulators Roundtable meeting was hosted by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) in April 2017 with just the first four states to legalize adult-use cannabis: Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska,” said WSLCB Director Rick Garza.  “The future was clear then that more states would soon follow.  Today, this body is in position to provide regulatory guidance to the federal government should it move towards declassification of cannabis and legalization nationwide.”

Additional state regulators are expected to soon join CANNRA; CANNRA anticipates providing membership opportunities for county and municipal cannabis regulators in the near future. Membership is limited to regulators and representatives from relevant government offices. Membership in CANNRA is not available to industry participants or advocacy organizations.

CANNRA members will be able to access a national registry of member regulators, resources for cannabis policy development and staff training, and will have the ability to access, and participate in the development of model standards and best practices for cannabis regulation.

Members will also be eligible to attend exclusive “Regulator Roundtable” conferences and programs, and receive legislative analyses, policy tracking data, and bulletins on current issues and events in the cannabis industry and regulatory arena.

CANNRA’s executive officers will include Norman Birenbaum, Director of Cannabis Programs for New York State as President; Rick Garza, Director of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board as First Vice President; Jim Burack, Director of Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division as Second Vice President; Andrew Brisbo, Executive Director of Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency as Third Vice President; and Tyler Klimas, Executive Director of Nevada’s Cannabis Compliance Board as Secretary Treasurer.

“Our intent in forming this organization is to have CANNRA serve as a resource for policy makers, elected officials, researchers, and other stakeholders to engage with regulators from across the country and receive unbiased information and recommendations regarding the impact and implementation of cannabis policies,” said Birenbaum.

For more information about the Cannabis Regulators Association or to inquire about membership please visit www.Cann-RA.org or email info@Cann-RA.org.

WSLCB Announces Marijuana Packaging Listen And Learn Forum

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is hosting a day-long Listen and Learn forum concerning draft conceptual marijuana packaging and labeling rules (red-line version; non-red-line version). An agenda is attached to help you prepare.

Please join us on Friday, October 11, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at our Headquarters Boardroom, located at 1025 Union Avenue SE, in downtown Olympia. You may also attend via webinar.

Revisions of the draft conceptual marijuana packaging and labeling rules include:

  • Packaging thickness of 2 mil. or greater (formerly 4 mil.);
  • Provision that marijuana infused edibles in liquid form may include a measuring device such as a measuring cup or dropper; hash marks on the bottle or container qualify as a measuring device;
  • Inclusion of framework for therapeutic claims, including definition of “structure and function” consistent with the requirements of ESHB 5298;
  • Strengthened existing language regarding listing compounds and other substances added to marijuana concentrates;
  • Alignment of references to child, youth, or minor to “persons under the age of twenty-one” to assure consistency; and
  • Complete redesign of WAC 314-55-105. The rule section begins with definitions. Then, each subsection addresses a specific type of product, and the specific packaging and labeling requirements for that product. This creates a framework for checklists being developed by LCB staff that will align with rule, and are anticipated to increase compliance success.

Additionally, this draft conceptual rule set contemplates withdrawal of BIPs 05-2018, 07-2018, 09-2018, 10-2018, and 14-2019.

 

WSDA Releases Azamax Insecticide From Stop Sale List

WSDA
WASHINGTON: Effective February 25, 2019, Azamax The Natural Insecticide (EPA Reg. No. 71908-1-81268) was released from the WSDA November 5, 2018, Stop Sale, Use or Removal Order #KFJ-0007-18. Distribution and use can begin again in Washington State.  The WSDA is allowing reasonable levels of naturally occurring 3-indoleacetic acid (IAA) to exist in Azamax The Natural Insecticide (EPA Reg. No. 71908-1-81268).

The complete up-to-date list of pesticides and fertilizers placed on statewide stop sale, use and remove orders is on the following pages and can be found anytime by entering agr.wa.gov in your web browser.  Then use the search box in the upper right corner of the page to search for pesticides on stop sale then choose Fertilizers and Pesticides Placed on Statewide Stop-Sale Orders.

For information regarding stop sales, please contact Tim Schultz 509-994-0936 Toll Free 877-301-4555 Email: compliance@agr.wa.gov

 

Two Views Of Personal Cultivation Of Cannabis: NORML Vs. LCB

By Bailey Hirschburg

The following is one section of a report presented by Washington NORML to the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) regarding their study of regulatory options for home growing. WA NORML’s full report, “Personal Cultivation of Cannabis: A look at policy alternatives” can be found here: (MJNN link to .pdf file “WA NORML Home Grow Report1”)

As written, none of the LCB options were practical or addressed the issue. Option 1, which requires a permit and plants to be in a state traceability system, with greater authority shared between the LCB and local authorities, and option 3, status quo home grow prohibition, are discussed further in the report.

This excerpt focuses on the questions the LCB encourages the public to address, option 2 “State Framework, local authority” and WA NORML’s revised “Civil Liberties Option, with State Framework & Local Authority.”

The LCB is taking public comment on three regulatory options, found here. Email your comments to rules@lcb.wa.govby October 11th to see they’re included in the study’s public response.

EXCERPT:

What cultivation policy is best for our state? On Sept. 13th, the LCB released a request for stakeholder input on three draft options for personal cultivation along with specific questions on a “Stakeholder Outreach Questionnaire.” Those questions were:

1. Which of the above options best protects the state under the Cole Memo from intervention by the federal government?

2. What resource impacts (work hours, costs, etc.), positive or negative, do you foresee for the regulatory options listed above?

3. What are the challenges or benefits (or both) associated with each of the regulatory options listed above?

4. Please provide any additional feedback you believe would be helpful to consider as part of this study.

This paper itself broadly addresses question #4. “Constitutional Concerns & The Cole Memo” addressed Question #1 specifically.  What follows are the three LCB options with answers to stakeholder questions #2 and #3, a revised Option 2, and evaluation of recent legislative bills on the issue.

2. State Framework, Local Authority

• Allow recreational home grows under a regulatory framework based on statewide standards set in statute, but authorized, controlled, and enforced by local jurisdictions (counties, cities).

• Include statutory requirements for security, preventing youth access, preventing diversion, etc. (Cole Memo).

• Require a permit to possess plants. Absent a permit, growing marijuana for any purpose is illegal.

• Limit of no more than 4 plants per household.

• Include a statutory provision to allow recreational growers to acquire plants from licensed producers so long as the person possesses a valid permit.

• Include a statutory provision that allows law enforcement to seize and destroy all plants possessed by a person if the person has more plants than the law allows.

• Include the same restrictions that apply to medical marijuana patients on processing marijuana in recreational home grows (no extraction with combustible materials. See WAC 314-55-430).

• The Legislature may choose to allow local jurisdictions to “opt-in” for or “opt-out” of allowing recreational home grows, similar to the approach the Legislature took with marijuana licenses and registered medical marijuana patient cooperative grows.

2. What resource impacts (work hours, costs, etc.), positive or negative, do you foresee for the regulatory options listed above? By losing individual plant tracking and deferring to local authorities while giving them a clear “opt in/out” option the state shifts some costs (except for permitting) from option 1 somewhat or largely over to local authorities.

3. What are the challenges or benefits (or both) associated with each of the regulatory options listed above? This gives local governments too much control over residents’ private affairs. Similar to the challenges to option 1: fair enforcement, securing citizen information, legal challenges against a commercial regulator doing residential policing or civil suits on biased, aggressive, or improper enforcement. Like Option 1, this regulates recreational grows more strictly than medical grows. This option is also susceptible to claims that it unjustly limits civil liberties by allowing jurisdictions to opt in or out of honoring them.

Revised Option 2. Civil Liberties Option, with State Framework & Local Authority

• Allow recreational home grows with restrictions based on statewide standards set in statute, but controlled and enforced by local jurisdictions (counties, cities).

• Limit of no more than 15 plants per household.

• Maintain existing statutory requirements and penalties for public use, youth access, unlicensed sales, preventing diversion, etc.

• Include a statutory provision to allow recreational growers to acquire plants from licensed producers, and allowing accredited testing laboratories to contract with adults over 21 directly to have recreational home grow samples tested.

• Include a statutory provision that allows law enforcement to seize and destroy any plants possessed by a person beyond established limits.

• Include the same restrictions that apply to medical marijuana patients on processing marijuana in recreational home grows (no extraction with combustible materials. See WAC 314-55-430). Clearly establish that authorized and registered medical marijuana patient grows and registered cooperative medical marijuana grows are separate from any recreational home grow limits.

• The Legislature may choose to allow local jurisdictions to “opt-in” for or “opt-out” of allowing outdoor home grows plainly visible from public or federal properties.

2. What resource impacts (work hours, costs, etc.), positive or negative, do you foresee for the regulatory options listed above? Significantly less costs than any LCB option. Minor retraining for producers or retailers selling seeds/clones. Updated rules for law enforcement, traceability system requirements, and regular zoning issues for local jurisdictions. Eventual savings or revenue from seed/clone sales, ancillary products/services, and increasing effectiveness of eradication efforts.

3. What are the challenges or benefits (or both) associated with each of the regulatory options listed above? Increased tracking of sales and distribution to estimate home grow markets. Distinguishing between medical and recreational gardens. Outdoor zoning may impact property values based on preferred outdoor growing options. More testing of home grown samples, and judicious use of enforcement by not expecting a single extra plant to warrant removal of a person’s entire garden. This regulates recreational growing on a similar scale to medical growing.

Registration Open For WSLCB Research License Education Events

WASHINGTON:  Interested parties who would like to participate in the upcoming Research License education events will need to register in advance to ensure that there is enough space for everyone to attend. Space is limited to 75 participants at each event. There will also be a livestream of the Shoreline event via Periscope for those who cannot attend in person.

Shoreline participants may receive a free parking pass by registering in advance. Parking passes will be available at the meeting site, please arrive early to get your pass.

Locations

 

Contact

If you have additional questions please contact Customer Service, (360) 664-1600.

 

 

WSLCB Upcoming Research License Education Events

WASHINGTON: On July 18, 2017 the WSLCB will team up with our Scientific Reviewer, Science Solutions, to provide information to prospective research license applicants. LCB staff will be on hand to address questions about the licensing process, traceability issues, and laws and rules. Our partners at Science Solutions will address the scientific review process.

Locations

 

Contact

If you have additional questions please contact Customer Service, (360) 663-1600.

 

 

WSLCB Notice of Rule Making – Proposed Rules – #17-05: Pesticides & Lab Testing

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board would like your input on the attached proposed rule changes to create and amend rules related to lab testing, quality assurance, pesticide action levels, and related topics in Chapter 314-55 WAC. This is a supplemental CR-102 filing of previously filed rules related to this topic. The proposed rules and small business economic impact statement (SBEIS) accompany this notice.

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

The Liquor and Cannabis Board encourages you to give input on this rule making.  Following the comment period the board will hold a public hearing before the rule changes may be adopted.

Public Comment

Please forward your comments to the Liquor and Cannabis Board by mail, e-mail, or fax by May 3, 2017.

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          May 3, 2017

Hearing:       10:00 a.m.

                    Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board – Board Room

                    3000 Pacific Ave. S.E, Olympia, WA

 

 

“Not for Kids” Deadline Approaches For Washington Edibles

WASHINGTON: The “Not for Kids” warning symbol will be required to be placed on all packages of marijuana products meant to be eaten or swallowed effective February 14, 2017. The Board recognizes that changing packaging requires time which is why the effective date was extended to 90 days after adoption in mid-February; enforcement of the new requirement will commence at the same time. For your convenience the basic requirements are listed below as well as links to the rules and additional information.

Note: We have received questions about what constitutes a “principal display panel.” The term was included for those packages that do not have a “front” to the packaging, such as a round container or other similar packaging. The principal display panel is what is presented to the consumer under conditions of retail sale. For example, what the consumer will view when the product is displayed on a shelf or case. The principal display panel is not on the back of the package.

1.   The warning symbol cannot be any smaller than three-fourths inch in height by one-half inch in width. It must be of a size so as to be legible, readily visible by the consumer, and effective to alert consumers and children that the product is not for kids.

2.   The warning symbol must be placed on the “principal display panel” or front of the package.

a.    “Principal display panel” is defined as  the portion(s) of the surface of the immediate container, or of any outer container or wrapping, which bear(s) the labeling designed to be most prominently displayed, shown, presented, or examined under conditions of retail sale.

b.    “Immediate container” means the external container holding the marijuana product.

3.    The symbol can be placed on the package/label in threeways:

a.    The digital image can be incorporated onto labels for marijuana edible products;

b.    The digital image may be downloaded and used to print stickers for placement on the front of marijuana edible products; or

c.    Licensees may choose to purchase stickers of the “Not for Kids” warning symbol for placement on the front of marijuana edible products.

4.   The symbol or stickers cannot cover or obscure any other information required to be on packages or labels for marijuana products.

5.   The symbol is trademarked and cannot be changed in any way other than for sizing purposes, except that a licensee must use a black border around the edges of the white background of the warning symbol image when the label or packaging is also white to ensure visibility of the warning symbol.

A digital image of the warning symbol can be found at the Washington Poison Center’s website and additional information is available on the WSLCB website. You can view the rules as adopted by the Board on the WSLCB’s Recently Adopted Rules webpage

The new section appears in the Legislature’s website under WAC 314-55-106. The Legislature’s website contains the most current information and versions of all laws and rules in the state.