Washington: December 1, Deadline for Marijuana Vapor Product Ingredient Disclosure Forms

WASHINGTON: WSLCB issues reminder of December 1, Deadline for Marijuana Vapor Product Ingredient Disclosure Forms.

Thank you to processors who have already submitted their vapor product ingredient disclosure forms to the LCB.

For those who have not yet submitted, please note that the deadline for all processor licensees to submit the vapor product ingredient disclosure forms to the LCB is December 1, 2019. The emergency rules filed Oct. 16, 2019 require cannabis processors to disclose all compounds, including but not limited to ingredients, solvents, additives, preservatives, thickening agents, terpenes and other substances used to produce or added to marijuana concentrates for inhalation or marijuana-infused extracts for inhalation at any point during production and processing, regardless of source and origin. All processors, regardless of whether or not they produce vapor products, must return the form.

  • The disclosure form can be found here. Please follow the instructions within the document and submit to mjdisclosureform@lcb.wa.gov.
  • For tips and answers to frequently asked questions about the disclosure form click here.

WSLCB Investigation Finds Illegal Marijuana Activity At Olympia’s “Northwest Alternative Care”

The store was not licensed to sell marijuana

WASHINGTON: During an undercover investigation, Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) officers purchased illegal marijuana from an unlicensed marijuana retailer located at 2210 Black Lake Boulevard SW in Olympia. Under state law, marijuana may only be sold from a licensed marijuana retail store.Northwest Alternative Care

Between September and October, undercover LCB officers made three buys of marijuana at the store. LCB officers subsequently obtained a search warrant for Northwest Alternative Care. In partnership with the Olympia Police Department, LCB enforcement officers executed the search warrant Wednesday Oct. 16, 2019.

The officers located and seized over a pound of marijuana flower. Officers also seized a large quantity of marijuana concentrates and marijuana-infused edible products being offered for sale. Many of the marijuana-infused products would have been illegal to sell in the regulated marketplace, including rice crispy treats, gummy bears, and flavored vapor products.

The owner was arrested by LCB officers and booked into the Thurston County jail for the marijuana crimes. The marijuana, cash, electronic devices, and business records were seized as evidence. Officers will be recommending felony charges for Unlawful Possession and Delivery of a Controlled Substance (RCW 69.50.401).

The investigation was prompted by complaints from the community alleging that the store was selling marijuana without a license, selling marijuana to minors, selling product that made a customer ill, and attracting criminal activity to the area, including attempted armed robberies.

WSLCB Adopts Emergency Rules Following Flavored Vapor Ban

WSLCB

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (Board) today adopted emergency rules consistent with the directives of Executive Order 19-03, dated September 27, 2019. On October 10, 2019, the Washington State Board of Health followed by issuing emergency rules that prohibited the sale of flavored vapor products by persons licensed under chapter 69.50 or 70.345 RCW.

To carry out the directive established by EO 19-03 and State Board of Health emergency rules, today’s emergency rules require two actions by licensees.

  1. Marijuana licensees must disclose all compounds, including but not limited to ingredients, solvents, additives, preservatives, thickening agents, terpenes and other substances used to produce or added to marijuana concentrates for inhalation or marijuana-infused extracts for inhalation at any point during production and processing, regardless of source and origin.

Because the outbreak of lung disease is occurring now and growing, the immediate adoption of rule requiring disclosure of compounds and other substances added to marijuana concentrates for inhalation or marijuana-infused extracts for inhalation is necessary for the preservation of public health, safety and general welfare by assisting public health officials in isolating the compounds and products that may be connected to the recent outbreak of lung disease.

This disclosure form can be found here. Please follow the instructions within the document and submit to mjdisclosureform@lcb.wa.gov.

  1. Executive Order 19-03 orders and directs the Board to provide consumer warnings by requiring that warning signs regarding the posting of warning signs regarding the health risks of vaping at retailers where vapor products containing THC are sold. The Board worked with the industry representatives and marijuana licensees to develop these warning signs.

This emergency rule requires licensed marijuana retailers to conspicuously post a warning sign provided by the Board regarding the health risks of vapor products where vapor products, as defined by WAC 246-80-010(12), are sold. The sign may be downloaded from the Liquor and Cannabis Board website here.

Note: please note that this sign is different than the sign provided earlier. Today’s Board action aligns all signs within the marijuana and vapor/tobacco marketplaces

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

WSLCB Issues Ban On Sale Of Flavored Vapor Products

To:         Cannabis Licensees

Fr:          Liquor and Cannabis Board

Re:         Sale of Flavored Vapor Products is Prohibited –  Effective Oct. 10, 2019 

This message is to follow up today’s Washington State Board of Health meeting where the Board of Health took action on Gov. Inslee’s Executive Order 19-03: Addressing the Vaping Use Public Health Crisis. It instituted emergency rules that direct action on Oct. 10, 2019, by both cannabis licensees and vapor product licensees. The Board of Health’s rules are available here in draft form. The only changes made were to WAC 246-80-030 regarding reporting requirements of cases to the Health Department. This change is Health-specific and not does pertain to regulated cannabis businesses.

 

Background

As you know, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of vape-associated lung injury associated with the use of both regulated and illicit vapor products. This investigation is ongoing and has not identified a single cause, but all reported cases have a history of using vapor products. Most patients with severe lung disease have reported a history of using vapor products containing THC. Some have reported the use of vapor products containing only nicotine.

Executive Order

On Sept. 27, 2019, Gov. Inslee issued Executive Order 19-03. This order directs the Liquor and Cannabis (LCB) and the Department of Health (Health) to immediately take certain actions to protect public health.

Those actions are reflected below as numbers 1 and 3. In addition, the agencies are directed to work together to draft legislative proposals to bring tighter regulation to the non-cannabis vapor industry.

Four actions have come forward that licensees and the LCB can do now while public health officials conduct their investigation:

  1. Signage. Prominently post this warning sign in retail locations. This required sign is co-branded with the Washington State Department of Health. A Spanish version, also available, may be posted as an additional sign.
  2. Clarify rule regarding additives on packaging and labeling. There is some confusion among industry members that certain additives, like terpenes, imported CBD, and other cannabinoids do not need to be disclosed on packaging. Current rules require all product components on packaging (WAC 314-55-105).
  3. Disclose to LCB all compounds (including ingredients, solvents, additives, etc.) used in the production and processing of products that are vaped and vaping devices themselves. Public health officials have requested assistance in gathering additional information about ingredients in vapor products.
  4.  Cooperate with the ongoing epidemiological investigation. Local, state and federal health agencies are looking into which products have been involved with Washington cases of disease. We ask for your cooperation if you are contacted by someone from a state or federal epidemiology team and/or a representative from your local health jurisdiction.

Action Directed Today

The sale of flavored vapor products by cannabis licensees is prohibited – effective Oct. 10, 2019. The definition of flavored vapor products is available in the Board of Health’s posted draft rules (linked above).

  1. The LCB directs processors to immediately cease sales of flavored vapor products.
  2. The LCB directs retailers to immediately cease sales of flavored vapor products.

The LCB is consulting with affected state agencies and will follow up soon with options for returning or destroying product.

Thank You for Cooperation

We appreciate the cooperation and collaboration demonstrated by members of in the cannabis industry on this important public health crisis.

Additional Information

For more information on this topic, please visit:

Washington Gov Inslee Issues Executive Order Changing How State Will Regulate Vaping Industry

WASHINGTON: Gov. Jay Inslee announced an executive order at a Seattle press conference Friday that changes how agencies will regulate, monitor, and communicate about a variety of vaping products. Other state leaders, including Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Washington State Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman, joined him at the event.

“We aren’t waiting for Big Tobacco to tell us what is in their products,” Inslee said. “We aren’t going to take health guidance from them, because we know that their goals are to make money and create new customers. That is what they are interested in. We are interested in ensuring that adults and young people have known and regulated ingredients in vaping products. Everyone deserves to know what is in the vaping liquid they are inhaling into their lungs.”

The announcement comes after medical professionals reported seven cases of severe lung illness in Washington from vaping devices or e-cigarette products. The Center for Disease Control has reported at least 12 deaths nationwide, as well as more than 800 cases of lung injury possibly related to these products.

Read the rest of the story on the governor’s Medium page.

WSLCB Issues Marijuana Packaging & Labeling: Rules And Process Update

Dear Stakeholders:

As you may know, we have been working on revisions to marijuana packaging and labeling rules. We filed a CR-101 on May 29, 2019, to consider two rule making petitions, further discuss the addition of board interim polices 05-2018, 07-2018, 08-2018, 09-2018, and 10-2018 to implement Engrossed Senate Substitute Bill (ESSB) 5298.

ESSB 5298 allows additional information on the packaging and labeling of marijuana products to assist consumers when making purchases of these products. The additional information may include structure and function claims on Department of Health (DOH) compliant products, as well as directions or recommended conditions of use, or a warning that describes the product’s psychoactive effect for all marijuana products.

Stakeholder engagement is encouraged during the rule development process.  The Liquor and Cannabis Board anticipates hosting facilitated listen and learn sessions in September and October, and invites your feedback on draft conceptual rules that will be released in mid-September.

While we are in the rule development phase, packaging submissions containing information associated with ESSB 5298 will not be accepted.  It is early in the process and the effective date of ESSB 5298 is January 1, 2020. We anticipate accepting this type of packaging and labeling submission described in ESSB 5298 starting December 2019 following rule adoption, but before the anticipated rule effective date of January 1, 2020. We ask that you hold any packaging and labeling submissions related to ESSB 5298 until that time.

Thank you for your continued partnership and commitment to the rule development process.

Questions? Contact the Licensing Division – Label Approval at labelapproval@lcb.wa.gov.

Seattle Hempfest Threatened With Extinction By Travel Giant Expedia’s Denial Of Access

Last minute denial of service road expected to negatively impact “Protestival”

WASHINGTON: “The Seattle Hempfest is taking place this year but with an extreme burden that will be disruptive to waterfront businesses and locals in the area. Hempfest has made good faith efforts to negotiate solutions, but even the most modest accommodation has been rejected by Expedia and the Port of Seattle,” says Seattle Hempfest director, Vivian McPeak.

“Forty-five days before the event, Expedia informed us via the Port of Seattle that they are not allowing Hempfest access to the road it has used for 25 years to bring supply vehicles, vendors, and staff into the back of the event. Expedia is blocking access because they say Hempfest will interfere with their construction and employee vehicle traffic for a few days,” he continues. “First Expedia took away all of Hempfest’s parking, now they are declining access for its production.

 

Seattle Hempfest

This last-minute denial is costing Seattle Hempfest thousands of dollars in extra fees and is creating a logistical nightmare likely to lead to unnecessary traffic snarls on a major arterial along and near the central waterfront.” Over 100,000 attendees are expected at the August 16, 17, 18 Seattle Special Event, now in its 28th year, and the 25th year at its current venue, Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Parks.

Expedia’s denial of access may jeopardize the future of this historic event. “Expedia purchased the former Amgen facility that is adjacent to Centennial Park and is undergoing a massive development project. Seattle residents have been severely impacted by the recent relocation to the city by giant tech companies, threatening the city’s culture, history, and historic buildings as gentrification and congestion runs rampant across the city,” says McPeak. “Expedia is apparently willing to end Hempfest rather than endure a few days of temporary inconvenience.”

At Expedia’s bidding, the Port of Seattle, which issues a permit for Hempfest to use Centennial Park, is only granting Hempfest use of the north service road Alaska Way West between the hours of 7 PM and 4 AM ―impossible hours to load event equipment such as staging, fencing, scaffolding, portable toilets, tent canopies, and wash stations in and out of the venue. Even the most meager requests, such as a few band parking spots, have been ignored by Expedia.

Organizers believe Expedia is working to end the world-renowned free speech event.  Hempfest supporters have created a MoveOn.org boycott petition.

WSLCB Changes Reporting Requirements In Response To Leaf Traceability System Disruptions

WASHINGTON: The Liquor and Cannabis Board this week took action to address challenges faced by cannabis licensees following the most recent software changes to the Leaf Traceability System.

It is the Board’s intent to provide some reporting flexibility to facilitate licensees’ ability to comply with state laws and regulations in light of the challenges created by the changes to the system.

In Board Interim Policy (13-2019), signed July 23, 2019 and effective immediately, the Board eased certain traceability reporting requirements for licensees.

The Board is committed to working with licensees, labs, and integrators to ensure their business operations can be maintained without compromising public health and safety. As such, effective immediately, the LCB will allow licensees, labs, and integrators flexibility to develop workarounds to problems directly associated with the lab test data and manifest information that remain unresolved by recent fixes to the System. These workarounds may vary from the lab test and manifest standards delineated in WAC 314-55-102 and WAC 314-55-085 to the extent necessary and so long as the workarounds continue to meet the following four conditions.

  1. Report Workarounds. Any workaround adopted by licensee or integrator must be reported to the LCB prior to use. A dedicated email address is provided for that requirement.
  2. Maintain Traceability. All labs, licensees, and integrators must maintain records ensuring all product is traced from producers to retail sales.
  3. Maintain Test Accuracy. Any traceability workaround must not compromise or misrepresent true test results of products involved in Quality Assurance (QA) testing.
  4. Maintain Product Safety. All products must maintain accurate packaging, labeling and all pesticide requirements.

For a complete list of Board Interim Policies, please visit the Liquor and Cannabis Board website at lcb.wa.gov.

Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board Extends Interim Packaging and Labeling Requirements

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) extended Board Interim Policies 5,7,8,9,10-2018 regarding Packaging and Labeling requirements to July 1, 2020.

The WSCLB began a rule development project on May 29, 2019 to redesign packaging and labeling rules (View CR-101 and Issue Paper). This comprehensive rule overhaul project, designed to reduce the complexity, and increase readability of the current rules, will  provide opportunities for licensees to offer comment and input throughout the rule development process, including “Listen and Learn” forums that allow for in-person feedback.  You can expect more communication in the coming months.

Washington: WSLCB Issues Advertising Warning Requirements For All Cannabis Products

wslcbMarijuana Producers, Processors and Retailers
Bulletin No 19-02

Date: May 31, 2019
To: Industry Members
From: Matt McCallum, Enforcement Advertising Coordinator
Subject:Warnings required on text message advertising

Text message advertising is required to follow the advertising warning requirements like any other general marijuana advertisement.

WAC 314-55-155(6) states that except for outdoor advertising, all advertising must contain the following warnings:

  • (a) “This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming.”;
  • (b) “Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.”;
  • (c) “There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product.”; and
  • (d) “For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.”

Warnings alone may not be attached via a link, or any other method that would require the recipient or receiver of the text advertisement to perform an action to access the warnings separate from the text message.

An example of what would be allowed would be a trade name or non-advertising language, accompanied by a link within the text that takes individuals to the advertisement which contains the required warnings. If any part of the text message itself can be considered advertising, however, it will need to contain all required warnings.

Please take a moment to assess your current text advertisement warning practices and correct, if appropriate. If you have questions about these requirements, please contact your area LCB enforcement officer.