A Call for Unity, A Call to Action
For too long now cannabis companies have been struggling to survive in the i502 regulatory system. All too often we feel like our pleas for respite from our regulators and legislators go unanswered. The licensees I talk to feel powerless and jaded by the process. It has been 10 years since the launch of i502 and it is clear that we need a major rework of the i502 system for the benefit of all licensees in the state.
My name is Burl Bryson and I am the new Executive Director of The Cannabis Alliance. I am a recovering attorney and I have spent the last 20 years in the cannabis industry as a patient, designated producer, and CEO. I have spent the last 7 years running licensed cannabis companies in Oregon and Washington. The Cannabis Alliance is Washington’s largest association of licensees, with a deep cross-section across all license types, Producer/Processor, Retail and ancillary businesses and we count some of the most respected cannabis companies in the state among our members. We truly try to represent all cannabis companies and cannabis consumers in the state. We are dedicated to the Advancement of a Vital, Ethical, Equitable and Sustainable cannabis industry in Washington. We believe the current situation is not sustainable.
The message is clear from legislators and regulators:
- Legislators would welcome an Omnibus Bill to update the lagging i502 system. They would prefer one well crafted bill rather than the patchwork of “Fix-it” bills that struggle on their own every session,
- The cannabis industry must speak with a unified voice if we want to get real changes passed. We must come together and agree on a draft bill that addresses a plethora of problems in the current regulations and then arrive in Olympia with internal industry agreement already brokered.
- If we work together, and we start working now, we can get Cannabis 502.0 passed in the next legislative session, and;
- Licensees truly cannot afford inaction on a reform policy agenda for another year.
Key Legislators to Support
Cannabis 502.0 begins with you!
The Cannabis Alliance is proud to announce that we have initiated a Grassroots Campaign to engage legislators and start the process of getting Cannabis 502.0 passed. The Grassroots program starts with identifying key races and legislators we support in the upcoming election in November. We intend to engage with all licensees, regardless if you are a member or not, to inform you about candidates who are running, fundraisers, doorbelling campaigns and other campaign activity in your district. We are working for the benefit of all licensees in the state, but we need your help to get the job done!
10 Things you can do today to help:
- Show up! Show up at campaign events, fundraisers, doorbelling events and at the polls. I know we are all at the red line trying to keep our companies alive right now, but if we don’t find the time to make a change in the system that’s killing us, nothing will ever change.
- Join The Alliance’s Cannabis 502.0 Committee to start addressing the needed changes in the existing law.
- Communicate those specific recommendations with our Grassroots committee. We are compiling a list of changes we need and together we will collaborate, negotiate and agree on a draft bill.
- If you are a member of another trade organization, encourage them to work collaboratively with The Cannabis Alliance and other trade organizations for the betterment of the industry as a whole.
- Appoint a lead person at your company that can interface with The Cannabis Alliance to relay relevant information.
- If you aren’t in the leadership of your license, please forward email to those who are and encourage them to take action.
- Please bring this email up at your next staff/ managers meeting and have an internal discussion about getting involved. Get on our mailing list for more local information about candidates and events in your district.
- Pass this email on to other licensees in your area and engage in a dialogue about the changes that need to occur.
- Write a check in an amount that is meaningful to you. Campaigns run on money and without money chosen candidates cannot succeed.
- Consider joining the alliance here. Individual memberships are only $20/mo. and $100/mo. for a larger company. We are doing $10/mo. for veterans, industry employees and students. If you truly can’t even afford that, Cannabis 502.0 is so important we will waive membership dues! and ask that you roll up your sleeves and help out until you can. We are using membership dollars to donate to candidate allies, pay lawyers to craft legislation and to fight for the cannabis industry in the state as a whole. Please get involved!
Please join me in making Cannabis 502.0 a reality in Washington and in helping to create a vital, ethical, equitable and sustainable cannabis industry for everyone.