Minors in Washington State Licensed Marijuana Producers/Processors Allowance Extended

WASHINGTON:  Due to daycare challenges, particularly in eastern Washington, and the dynamic and uncertain nature of the state’s response to COVID variants, the LCB is extending the limited allowance for minors in licensed marijuana producers and processor premises. The new expiration date is set for Oct. 31, 2021. The LCB will later review the expiration date to consider whether it should be again be extended.

 

Minors in Licensed Marijuana Producers/Processors

Effective until: Oct. 31, 2021

Due to the related COVID – 19 impacts, the LCB is temporarily relaxing enforcement of WAC 314-55-015 involving the prohibition of minors being present on premises of licensed marijuana producers/processors in limited circumstances. This temporary allowance is to accommodate families that have been impacted by school closures and daycare challenges.

Effective immediately the LCB will not enforce the provisions of WAC 314-55-015 for families who have children under the age of 16 on the licensed premises, so long as the following conditions are met:

  • The person under 16 years of age is a child or grandchild of the licensee,
  • The person under 16 years of age is not engaging in any work or act of employment for the licensed business,
  • The person under 16 years of age does not possess any products associated with the production, processing, or sales of marijuana,

This advisement covers only the licensed marijuana facility for producers and processor, and does not include or cover retail locations or transportation vehicles.

WSLCB Clarifies Allowable Practices for a Holder of a Marijuana Processor License

To:  Cannabis Licensees

Re:  Allowable Practices for a Holder of a Marijuana Processor License (Effective July 22, 2021)

The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) received questions about the legality of manufacturing THC from hemp-based CBD, creating a need to assess and analyze statutory provisions related to this process. Following its thorough analysis, the LCB today announces its interpretive statement (linked below).

Statements do not have the force and effect of law. They are explanatory documents intended to convey the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s interpretation of law and regulation as it existed at the time the statement is issued. Current interpretive statements are advisory only.

LCB Board Action: Adoption of Final Rules (Cannabis Vitamin E Acetate)

Details of July 20, Cannabis Plant Chemistry Public Session

WASHINGTON:  Yesterday (7/21/21), during a regularly scheduled meeting, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board took the following action:

Adopted final rules (CR 103) to permanently cross-reference the Washington State Board of Health (SBOH) vitamin E acetate prohibition in cannabis processor and retailer rules. The rules take effect August 21, 2021. 

A second Deliberative Dialogue on Cannabis Plant Chemistry was held July 20, 2021. To learn more about the session, references, notes and a link to the session recording are included below.

WSLCB Action: Board Action: New rule projects for Evaluation of THC Compounds; Proposed Rules – Cannabis license background checks; Final rules for cannabis Tier One expansion

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board Action

WASHINGTON:  Yesterday (7/7/2021), during a regularly scheduled meeting, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board took the following action:

Approved withdrawal of a proposal statement of inquiry (CR 101) for THC Compounds Other Than Delta- 9.

Approved a preproposal statement of inquiry (CR 101) to consider establishing a new rule section that would allow the WSLCB to evaluate additives, solvents, ingredients or compounds used in the production and processing of marijuana products other than delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as CBD, hemp, or both converted to delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other marijuana compound that is not currently identified or defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), or both, to determine whether such substances pose a risk to public health or youth access.

Approved a notice of proposed rulemaking (CR 102) to consider changes to current rules that frame the standards and thresholds for criminal history checks for marijuana [cannabis] licensees.

Adopted final rules (CR 103) to implement cannabis Tier One Expansion. The rules take effect August 7, 2021.

WSLCB Update on “Joints for Jabs” Vaccine Promotions in Washington

To: Cannabis Retailers

Fr: Liquor and Cannabis Board

Re: Update on “Joints for Jabs” Vaccine Promotions

Quick clarification to licensed cannabis retailers — you may use your store’s parking lot to host a vaccination clinic.

In cases with shared parking with other tenants, please limit the boundary to parking spots dedicated for your business. This allowance does not supersede any lease agreements with your property owner so please be sure to check whether this is permissible.

Despite a negative news report about stores not participating, vaccination events at retail stores are already underway or planned at locations around the state. Stores have until July 12, 2021 to participate.

Gov. Inslee has likened the state vaccination effort to be on the “two yard line.” The LCB supports this vaccination incentive as another effort to help get the state over the line. We continue our efforts to make it easier to participate. Please consider now whether this promotion is right for your business.

More information about the so-called “Joints for Jabs” vaccine promotion is available here.

Clarifying Statement Regarding WSLCB Rule Making Authority Re THC Isomers Other Than Delta-9

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board issued the following clarifying statement regarding its rule making authority re: THC Isomers other than Delta-9.

Issue

Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive compound naturally occurring in very low levels in cannabis. With the recent federal legalization of hemp, delta-8 and other THC compounds other than state regulated delta-9, can be chemically derived from CBD that was originally generated from hemp.

Delta-8 derived from hemp has emerged for sale nationwide, including small amounts within the regulated Washington State supply chain, as well as in unregulated convenience stores and commercial internet websites. It is an emerging issue nationwide with concerns surrounding it that include: youth access, health effects resulting from the extraction process, and the impact of a product that is generally unregulated competing with a tightly regulated state cannabis marketplace.

Research

In recent months, the LCB has been researching delta-8 through multiple channels. Discussions are ongoing with state public health officials, cannabis industry representatives and other state regulators through the national trade organization the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA). Most states are currently fact finding and communicating with Washington and other states. Some have moved quickly to prohibit delta-8 through rule or legislation.

Reason for Policy Statement

On April 28, 2021, LCB issued Policy Statement Number PS-21-01 regarding: The regulation of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), other than Delta-9; and the conversion of CBD, hemp, or both to delta- 8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other cannabis compound that is not currently identified or defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), or both. The LCB’s policy statement is in response to multiple stakeholder requests and national concerns for clarification.

Through PS-21-01, the LCB is notifying the public and stakeholders that the agency will be addressing the issue. State law encourages agencies to advise the public of its current opinions, approaches, and likely courses of action by means of interpretive or policy statements. Current interpretive and policy statements are advisory only. To better inform the public, agencies are encouraged to also convert long-standing interpretive and policy statements into rules.

LCB Intent

The LCB’s intent is to open public discussion around this issue. While the Board has broad rule-making authority to act quickly when the public health, safety or welfare is at risk, the Board’s intention is to approach the issue conservatively and transparently, collecting input and actively collaborating with stakeholders. Until the LCB has reached a conclusion through the public rule-0making process whether to adopt rules to create enforceable requirements regarding products that contain delta-8, this policy statement is advisory. The LCB will continue to enforce existing rules pertaining to packaging and labeling reviews to ensure there is not an excess of 10 mg of any type of THC in edible products.

The policy statement represents the Board’s continued effort to make the public and stakeholders aware of our intentions and invite participation. The Board will soon approve a CR 101 to make the process public and begin standard rule-making. As always, interested parties may sign up for email notifications or check the LCB website at lcb.wa.gov for updates.

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board Actions: Vitamin E Acetate in Vapes & Tier 1 Canopy

WASHINGTON:Yesterday, during a regularly scheduled meeting, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board took the following action:

Approved a rule proposal (CR 102) to expand the plant canopy square footage allowed for licensed Tier 1 cannabis producers.

Adopted emergency rules (CR 103E) to enforce the requirements of WAC 246-80-021 prohibiting the use of vitamin E acetate in vapor products, within the context of chapter 69.50 RCW. This emergency rule allows the Board to take disciplinary action against any cannabis processor licensed under WAC 314-55-077, or any cannabis retailer licensed under WAC 314-55-079 that fails to comply with the provisions of WAC 246-80-021 under the authority of chapter 69.50 RCW. The emergency rules took effect immediately yesterday upon filing with the Code Reviser’s Office.

Rescinded Emergency Rules WAC 314-55-1065 and 314-55-1055, regarding the LCB Vitamin E Acetate Prohibition and Cannabis Product Disclosure Form

WSLCB Issues Policy Statement On Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Compounds Other Than Delta-9

WASHINGTON: Consistent with RCW 34.05.230, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) has published a policy statement concerning tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compounds other than delta-9 and the conversion of CBD, hemp, or both to delta- 8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other cannabis compound that is not currently identified or defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), or both. 

Policy statements are agency-level documents declaring plans or intentions of an agency. Policies are different from procedures, standard operating procedures, or guidance because they apply to the entire organization and are primarily intended to set direction. In contrast, procedures or guidelines typically include specific instructions used to accomplish defined tasks that may be described in a policy.

Notice of WLSCB Policy Statement #PS21-01 was filed with the Washington State Code Reviser on April 28, 2021 as WSR 21-10-045. The policy statement is offered in response to multiple stakeholder requests and national concern for clarification regarding the regulation of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), other than delta-9; and the conversion of CBD, hemp, or both to delta- 8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other cannabis compound that is not currently identified or defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), or both.

Additional information can be found on the WSLCB Policy Statements webpage.

Virtual Listen and Learn Forum Session on Draft Conceptual Rules: Background Checks for Cannabis Licensees and Applicants

WASHINGTON:  The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is hosting a Listen and Learn forum about draft conceptual rules for cannabis applicants or licensee background checks.

The Liquor and Cannabis Board began considering revisions to current background check processes for applicants or licensee by initiating a formal rule inquiry on February 17, 2021. The Preproposal Statement of Inquiry is found here.

WSLCB

Initiative 502 (I-502) established a legal framework for the Board to review the criminal history of marijuana [cannabis] license applicants, along with broad rulemaking authority to create rules related to criminal history background check standards. The initial background check rules were first established in late 2013, and the most recent revision occurred in early 2016.

The WSLCB will be re-evaluating current criminal history background check standards in an effort to remove unnecessary barriers to entry in the legal marijuana [cannabis] market by people and communities disproportionally impacted by marijuana [cannabis] criminalization. Revisions considered will be designed to support socially equitable conditions by deconstructing current rules to create fair and meaningful access to the economic opportunities afforded by marijuana [cannabis].

Here is a link to the agenda to help you prepare, along with draft changes (redline) and original language (non-redline) versions of the draft conceptual rules. Please come prepared to offer related feedback and suggestions.

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.

When: Thursday, May 13, 2021, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Online via this link WebEx. Pre-registration is not required.

By phone only:  Toll Free: 1-855-929-3239, or Direct: (415) 655-0001

                            Access Code: 133 151 4096#

If you wish to join online here are a few reminders:

  • Online participation will be structured to allow one speaker at a time through a hand-raising feature on WebEx.
  • If you have difficulty with audio or visual elements of the WebEx meeting, please be patient, you can provide feedback to us at the email below. There is still opportunity to let us know your thoughts.

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

WSLCB To Cannabis Retailers: Things to Know Before 4-20 Activities

WASHINGTON: 

Greetings Retail Cannabis Partners,

As 4-20-21 is rapidly approaching, we wanted to send you a risk management reminder of activities we have seen in the past that violate state law. These activities could lead to violations before or during your 420 events:

Some things to avoid:

Any outdoor signs related to your 420 event that are visible outside of the “adult only” enclosed area

  • Any advertising which might be especially appealing to minors Employing or using mascots, costumed characters, or sign spinners outside of your premises
  • Having any giveaways – including free food or beverages
  • Selling unauthorized merchandise other than what is allowed by law
  • Using coupons or “bring-this-to-get-that” type promotions
  • Providing alcohol to customers (or staff)
  • Allowing consumption of cannabis in the licensed premises or parking lot, sidewalk, etc;
  • Hosting or promoting “smoke friendly” events. The opening or consumption of cannabis is only allowed in private areas, outside of public view. If your event is advertised, or charges a fee to attend, or is held in a public place, it is likely not a private

The LCB’s mission is to protect public safety. You can help us to help you be successful by avoiding violations which could lead to fines or suspension of your retail cannabis license.  If you have any questions about cannabis rules, or want to run ideas for advertising or promotions by us, please do not hesitate to call your local Enforcement Officer before you take action.

Please visit our website at LCB.WA.GOV  for contact information and for more details on rules.