WSLCB Invitation For Public Comment: Draft Conceptual Rules For Marijuana Business Premise Certificate of Compliance

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is seeking public comment regarding draft conceptual rules. These draft conceptual rules are narrowly scoped to include a new rule subsection that provides a marijuana business premise certificate of compliance.  A draft, conceptual version of WAC 314-55-020 is linked here. The new subsection (6) is highlighted in blue.

Background
On July 8, 2020, the WSLCB filed a pre-proposal statement of inquiry (CR 101) to consider amending WAC 314-55-020 to establish a certificate of compliance for marijuana business premises consistent with the mandates of Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 6206 (Chapter 154, Laws of 2020). The CR-101 filing and supporting documents are located here.

Specifically, SSB 6206 amended RCW 69.50.331 to create a certificate of compliance for marijuana business premises, and became effective June 11, 2020. The amendment requires the Board to issue a certificate of compliance for a marijuana business applicant’s premises, if the premises met the distance requirements from restricted entities (such as parks, schools, and playgrounds) at the time the application was filed. The certificate allows the licensee to operate the business at the proposed location notwithstanding a later occurring, otherwise disqualifying factor regarding restricted entities.

The WSLCB invites and encourages your comment on the draft conceptual rule language offered as WAC 314-55-020 (6). Your feedback will be reviewed and considered before a CR 102, or rule proposal, is presented to the Board for approval.

Public Comment
Please forward your comments to Casey Schaufler at casey.schaufler@lcb.wa.gov by September 4, 2020. The CR102 proposal is anticipated to be presented to the Board on or after September 30, 2020.

Virtual Listen and Learn Forum: Rules Regarding Tier 1 Producer Licensing, Session #2

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 second 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 30, 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 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/onstage/g.php?MTID=e704a0de07d3b41806e1f7f59ba96195e

To join the WebEx meeting via audio conference only:

Toll Free: 1-855-929-3239
Access Code: 133 418 7301

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

Washington: WLSCB Virtual Listen And Learn Forum: Draft Conceptual Rules Regarding Marijuana Licensee True Party Of Interest Rules

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) has rescheduled a Listen and Learn forum on draft conceptual rules regarding marijuana true party of interest regulations described in WAC 314-55-035 to accommodate concerns around the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please join us virtually on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. until 3:30 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 marijuana true party of interest rules by initiating a formal rule inquiry under WSR 18-22-54 in October, 2018. Those efforts were extended by the passage of Engrossed Substitute House Bill (ESHB) 1794, concerning agreements between licensed marijuana businesses and other people and businesses, including royalty and licensing agreements relating to the use of intellectual property during the 2019 regular session of the Washington State legislature

During the summer, and into the fall and winter of 2019, WSLCB held multiple meetings with industry association representatives, licensees, and others to draft the conceptual rules we’ll be discussing during this Listen and Learn session. These conceptual draft rules reflect an engaged and inclusive developmental process that embodies not only WSLCB’s commitment to regulatory stability and consistency, but to listening to and learning from the input of licensees. They also represent a significant agency policy shift in the removal of the spousal vetting requirement.

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.

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 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 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 WebEx Event:

Event address for attendees: https://watech.webex.com/watech/onstage/g.php?MTID=e13ac4927e2202ebbb097b00732f4e5b0

To attend by phone: (TOLL) +1-415-655-0001 or (TOLL FREE)+1-855-929-3239

Access code: 285 815 516

Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board Issues Emergency License Suspension For Smoking Exodus in Port Orchard

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Friday issued an emergency suspension for Smoking Exodus, a vapor product retailer, after an investigation found multiple violations of their state licenses and violations of state and federal drug laws. The suspension is for the licensee listed below:

Smoking Exodus:1382 SE Lund Avenue, Suite 150, Port Orchard, WA 98366

The suspension covers the licensee’s Cigarette, Tobacco, and Vapor Product Retailer license, and comes after an investigation by the WSLCB including multiple complaints and onsite visits. The violations included manufacturing vapor products without the required license, having alcohol on the premises, living in the premises, and the presence of drug paraphernalia which tested positive for methamphetamine.

The license will remain suspended for a period of 180 days, during which the WSLCB will pursue permanent revocation due to the aggravating circumstances of the case.

The WSLCB educates licensees to reach compliance and enforces Washington’s liquor, cannabis and tobacco laws and regulations. The WSLCB is mandated to ensure that licensees in Washington State follow state laws and regulations. When licensees fail to comply with state law the Board, under state authority can take action including the issuance of suspensions to ensure public health and safety.

Emergency suspensions represent an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power and the WSLCB is mandated to ensure that an emergency suspension is reasonable, justifiable and legal. This is the first Board-issued emergency suspension of 2020.

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

One tap mobile:

+14086380968,,7010297368# US (San Jose)
+16699006833,,7010297368# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location:

        +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

        +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)

        Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a6OV4m5V2

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

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is hosting a Listen and Learn forum about draft conceptual rules regarding the voluntary cannabis licensee consultation and education program.

Please join us on March 11, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at our Headquarters Boardroom, located at 1025 Union Avenue SE, in downtown Olympia. You may also attend virtually via zoom.

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.

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

  • Virtual participation is in listen mode only. We are unable to accept comments through Webinar chat features, by email or through other messaging options while a meeting is in progress.
  • 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 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/7010297368
Meeting ID: 701 029 7368

One tap mobile:

+14086380968,,7010297368# US (San Jose)
+16699006833,,7010297368# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location:

        +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

        +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)

        Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a6OV4m5V2

WSLCB Continues Emergency Vape Regulations For Washington Licensees

 

January 23, 2020

Dear Cannabis Licensee,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the national outbreak of vaping-associated lung injury has waned. We would like to update you on the emergency rules passed by the State Board of Health, and other issues of importance to cannabis licensees. Below you will find information about what to expect and what continues to be required.

  • The State Board of Health emergency rule temporarily banning flavored vapor products remains in effect through February 7, 2020. On February 8, 2020, retailers may legally sell flavored vapor products.
  • As of February 8, 2020, you no longer are required to post the warning sign about the severe lung injury.
  • The State Board of Health emergency rule temporarily banning vapor products with vitamin E acetate remains in effect until March 19,
  • The Board is expected to withdraw all LCB flavored-vapor-product rules that are tied to the State Board of Health rules.
  • Marijuana Vapor Product Ingredient Disclosure forms are still required to be submitted by all producer/processor and processor licensees for each vapor product. For more information, see the Links to Required Documents box on our Vapor and Public Health

Important: please note that the Washington State Legislature is currently in session and considering bills regarding the regulation of vapor products, including Governor-requested legislation to ban vitamin E acetate and all flavorings, except tobacco flavoring, in non-THC vapor products. We encourage you to follow the legislative action this session.

We appreciate your cooperation throughout the vaping-associated lung injury investigation and other changes impacting marijuana license holders.

 

Illegal Marijuana Sales & Other License Violations Prompt WSLCB To Issue Emergency License Suspension For The Smoke Shop In White Center

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) today issued a Board Order of Suspension for The Smoke Shop after an investigation found multiple violations of their state licenses and violations of state and federal drug laws. The suspension is for the licensee listed below:

The Smoke Shop: 9817 16th Ave SW, Seattle WA  98106

The suspension covers the licensee’s cigarette retailer, other tobacco product retailer, vapor product and beer/wine specialty licenses.

The suspension follows an investigation by the WSLCB and the King County Sheriff’s Office including onsite visits and several undercover sales of marijuana products. The licensee does not have a license to sell marijuana.

The licenses will remain suspended for a period of 180 days, after which the WSLCB will pursue permanent revocation due to the aggravating circumstances of the case.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board educates licensees to reach compliance and enforces Washington’s liquor, cannabis and tobacco laws and regulations. The WSLCB is mandated to ensure that licensees in Washington State follow state laws and regulations. When licensees fail to comply with state law the Board, under state authority can take action including the issuance of suspensions to ensure public health and safety.