Change is Coming!
It’s claimed that the only thing constant is change. The cannabis industry is a prime example as we face changes that cause us to pivot frequently. Some changes are welcome and some not so much. The leadership at The Cannabis Alliance is focused on causing welcome changes to help ease the burdens on cannabis businesses and our environment.
The Alliance Board of Directors met last month to refine our goals for the coming year. An overarching theme emerged that we value and want to build up our cannabis community. The bonds between licensee owners, industry workers, recreational and patient consumers require tending and covid made that harder to do. It is time to bring the cannabis community together in both fun and educational ways. This summer we began the task by hosting the Frizweed Tournament in June and the Summer Classic Tournament in July.
Jason Lammers, Alliance President and founder of 420WholesalePack.com, leads our Sustainability Committee. Jason has done exhaustive research discovering paths to make cannabis packaging reusable and recyclable. An Oregon company has the same vision and we have teamed up to make it happen but rules need to change. We are finalizing a list of Washington Administrative Codes (WAC) changes to allow for a robust recycling program and will soon meet with WSLCB to discuss what is needed to make this idea a reality. Reducing waste costs by eliminating single-use plastic plant tags, allowing for more than 1g of concentrate to be in one package, getting rid of the requirement that spent soil be remediated by 50%, and reducing packaging for edibles are other topics we are tackling on behalf of our membership and industry at large. Sustainability is in our mission statement and we thank Jason for taking the lead.
Additionally in that effort, Jason and Caitlein were invited to guest lecture at the University of Washington Environmental Studies class about sustainable cannabis policy. It was a great opportunity to educate folks about the industry and broaden the discussion about what sustainability means and how we can meet our goals.
Another important goal is the work to reduce burdensome taxes on our licensees. The 2014 legislation (SB6505) that took business and agricultural tax exemptions away from cannabis business needs addressed. The title of that legislation was “Delaying the use of existing tax preferences by the marijuana industry to ensure a regulated and safe transition to the controlled and legal market in Washington.” Time to stop delaying! This work will take creative thinking and a strong advocate in Olympia as governments tend to not give taxes back. The Cannabis Alliance leadership is exploring ways to tackle this challenging topic.
Cannabis as Medicine
Advocating for people that rely on cannabis for their health is also a priority of the Alliance. John Kingsbury heads our Patient Caucus and has done the exhaustive in-field work of visiting retail shops with medical endorsements to best understand the issues. John is great at digging into the WACs (rules) and RCWs (laws) to inform the board about the realities of our medical cannabis program and ways to improve it. The Department of Health and LCB have agreed to open up rule-making and work hand-in-hand with John and the Alliance to improve the rules around what defines medical-grade cannabis and how patients can best access it at reasonable costs.
There will be stakeholder engagement with the Department of Health around the beginning of September and The Cannabis Alliance will be right there advocating for patients and our businesses who serve them.
Mark your calendar for the Homegrow Rally in Seattle on August 27th. We encourage all to gather at Cal-Anderson Park at noon for the march to Westlake Center. More details are coming soon so check the events page on The Cannabis Alliance website for this and other events to bring us together.
The speaker line-up is tremendous and we are guaranteed to have a wonderful day raising awareness for this wildly out-of-sync law.
Our General Membership meeting is this Thursday 8/10 at noon. Attend in person at one of three hubs or log in online. This month we will have guest speakers from outside our organization to discuss the 2024 legislative session. There are a lot of details to unpack as we gather opinions and form strategies. We want to hear from you!
The Cannabis Alliance is well poised as the most influential cannabis trade group in the country to make good change happen.
We are dedicated to the advancement of a vital, ethical, equitable, and sustainable cannabis industry. Thanks for being a member!