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Current News

We are officially in the back-half of the long session of the 2023/2024 Biennium and there is still a good amount of cannabis legislation on the table.  The next deadline for bills is March 29th for opposite house bills to make it out of policy committees and then the following week, on April 4th, is the cut-off for fiscal committees.  The funnel is getting more and more narrow as we get closer to the April 23rd close of session and the budget is starting to come into conversation more and more.  

While this second half is basically a compressed version of the first half of session, it also includes budget negotiations.  This is always a significant debate that can take significant time from floor action right at the end of session and this year we have a dog in the race.  Our Excise Tax bill was pulled from floor consideration in favor of being NTIB or Necessary to Implement the Budget, which means we are now jockeying to keep the attention of the governor’s office and legislators to ensure they understand that while this bill is tiny (from a budgetary perspective), it is mighty in the good it would do for patients and the medical cannabis system in Washington.

This upcoming Monday is a big day for cannabis legislation and our priority bills in particular.  It is a big help when you sign-in, so thank you for your involvement all session long!  We are asking for your continued support this week and we have provided the instructions below in “The Week Ahead”.

If you’d like to follow along with cannabis legislation as it develops, you can view our Bill Tracker HERE.  

This Week’s Action

3/13/23 House Regulated Substances and Gaming at 1:30p – Public Hearing

  • E2SSB 5367 – Concerning the regulation of products containing THC
  • This was the only item on the public hearing agenda and testimony starts pretty immediately.
  • Burl was bumped for time and submitted written testimony

3/13/23 House Regulated Substances and Gaming at 1:30p – Executive Session

  • SSB 5405 – Modifying the liquor and cannabis board’s subpoena authority
  • Rescheduled for March 21st at 4p

3/14/23 House Regulated Substances and Gaming at 4:00p – Public Hearing

  • E2SSB 5080 – Expanding and improving the social equity in cannabis program
  • Burl Testifies (in a suit) at 59:10

3/14/23 House Labor and Workplace Standards at 10:30a – Public Hearing

  • E2SSB 5123 – Concerning the employment of individuals who lawfully consume cannabis
  • Scheduled for Exec March 21st at 10:30a

3/16/23 House Regulated Substances and Gaming at 8:00a – Executive Session

  • E2SSB 5367 – Concerning the regulation of products containing THC
  • Rescheduled for March 20th at 1:30p

The Week Ahead

3/20/23 Senate Labor and Commerce at 10:30a

Public Hearing

  • HB 1563 – Concerning arrest protections for the medical use of cannabis
  • HB 1772 – Prohibiting products that combine alcohol and tetrahydrocannabinol

3/20/23 House Regulated Substances and Gaming at 1:30p

Public Hearing

  • SB 5069Allowing interstate cannabis agreements
  • SB 5340 – Regarding limits on the sale and possession of retail cannabis products
  • SSB 5546 – Establishing a Washington state cannabis commission

Executive Session

  • E2SSB 5080 – Expanding and improving the social equity in cannabis program
  • E2SSB 5367 – Concerning the regulation of products containing THC

3/21/23 House Labor and Workplace Standards at 10:30a

Executive Session

  • E2SSB 5123 – Concerning the employment of individuals who lawfully consume cannabis

3/21/23 House Regulated Substances and Gaming at 4:00p 

Public Hearing

  • SB 5363 – Concerning cannabis retailer advertising

Executive Session

  • SSB 5405 – Modifying the liquor and cannabis board’s subpoena authority
  • SB 5340 – Regarding limits on the sale and possession of retail cannabis products

3/23/23 House Regulated Substances and Gaming at 8:00a

Executive Session

  • SB 5363 – Concerning cannabis retailer advertising
  • SB 5069Allowing interstate cannabis agreements
  • SSB 5546 – Establishing a Washington state cannabis commission

3/20/23 Senate Labor and Commerce at 8:00a

Executive Session

  • HB 1563 – Concerning arrest protections for the medical use of cannabis
  • HB 1772 – Prohibiting products that combine alcohol and tetrahydrocannabinol

Legislation

Priority Legislation

Cannabis Research Commission

  • SSB 5546 – Establishing a Washington state cannabis commission
  • Rep. Wylie is prime sponsor of the house version of the bill and Regulated Substances and Gaming has passed that version out of the committee this year already and we expect the same will be true for the Senate version at the scheduled executive session.
  • If you’d like to know more about the commission and what it would do check out these resources:
  • Issue Brief
  • FAQ’s
  • Webinar Wednesday

Patient Excise Tax

  • HB 1453 – Providing a tax exemption for medical cannabis patients
  • This bill has been designated NTIB and we will be lobbying behind the scenes with all we’ve got to keep this bill in the budget that is passed this year.

Arrest Protection

  • HB 1563 – Concerning arrest protections for the medical use of cannabis
  • We were surprised arrest protection wasn’t referred to Law and Justice, we are comfortable with the base knowledge of the members of Labor and Commerce and we expect quick passage.  Arrest Protection has passed to Senate Rules the last two years.

Cannabis Waste

  • SB 5376 – Allowing the sale of cannabis waste
  • While this bill is extra dead in the Xfile for the year, we are confident that LCB is ready to dig-in on a rule change and we may have this wrapped-up before next session when the bill resets to committee of origin. 

Interstate Commerce Trigger Bill

  • SB 5069Allowing interstate cannabis agreements
  • One of the many bills being considered at the beginning of the week next week.  Regulated Substances has already passed the house version and we expect there will be no difference this time around.  We are continuing to push to have some additional language from the CA version of this legislation that will expand the “triggering events” slightly to align with the most current approach.

LCB Agency Request Legislation

Social Equity

  • E2SSB 5080 – Expanding and improving the social equity in cannabis program
  • It is worth watching the testimony on this bill on the 14th.  The discussion was robust and productive.  We expect this important bill will pass this session.

Cannabinoids

  • E2SSB 5367 – Concerning the regulation of products containing THC
  • This bill began needing some fixes and instead of refinement over the last couple of months, the bill has unfortunately become more convoluted.  In collaborative meetings among trade organizations, hemp advocates, and scientists there is near unanimous agreement LCB needs the authority to regulate impairing cannabinoids, but the rest of the bill that contemplates concentration limits and definitions is still in deep need of refinement.  While LCB has testified they can fix any problems in rulemaking after the bill is passed, the unfortunate part of their track record is a lack of trust that they will and a lack of confidence that they can.

Subpoena Power

  • SSB 5405 – Modifying the liquor and cannabis board’s subpoena authority
  • We are still watching as this bill progresses

Remaining Cannabis Legislation

Combining Alcohol and THC

  • HB 1772 – Prohibiting products that combine alcohol and tetrahydrocannabinol

Employment Testing

  • E2SSB 5123 – Concerning the employment of individuals who lawfully consume cannabis
  • We are continuing to support Sen. Keiser and her efforts to incrementally change hiring practices as it relates to cannabis use.

Beverage Sale Limits

  • SB 5340 – Regarding limits on the sale and possession of retail cannabis products

Retail Advertising

  • SB 5363 – Concerning cannabis retailer advertising

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