Each year, in an effort to understand our members’ most pressing issues, The Cannabis Alliance surveys our membership on their legislative and regulatory priorities. Each of our members receive one vote (e.g. 1 membership = 1 vote). Our members pride themselves on caring about the entire community including consumers and patients. These values are reiterated by our membership’s selected priorities
HB 1563/SB 5608 Arrest Protection
Arrest protection would protect a patient from:
- Illegitimate time in jail
- Impact on employer satisfaction due to stigma
- Lost wages for time off
- Housing repercussions associated with arrest Unnecessary legal fees
- Burdensome paperwork and administrative requirements
- Exacerbation of illness due to stress and strain Destruction of legal personal-use medical garden
Washington State has 21 agricultural commissions. Commissions were established in the 1930’s explicitly to provide a way for farmers to pool their resources to address their cultivation issues and improve their market conditions. Commissions represent 100% of the farmers that grow the crops; hops, wine grapes, blueberries and, of course, apples are all represented by a commission. Some commissions do strictly research, education and representation; some focus on marketing and some do both. A recent JLARK study of various Washington commission members found value in their participation. Farmers across various commodities are happy to have their commissions at their backs.
HB 1453 Excise Tax
Currently patients in Washington State utilizing cannabis to help with their conditions must pay a 37% excise or “sin” tax on their medicine. Not only is this fundamentally wrong but it creates several additional consequences such as forcing patients to use cheaper products since they cannot afford the higher quality and more costly items or, worse, it forces them to seek their medicine on the illicit market.
Remove the excise tax for qualified patients. This will not only help patients acquire their medicine at a more reasonable cost but it will incentivize retailers to carry DOH compliant product (tested for pesticides and heavy metals) and incentivize producers and processors to grow and manufacture DOH compliant or “medical’ product.
HB 1614 Homegrow
Washington State Residents should be able to grow a few plants of something that our state allows to be sold like beer or wine. Our state law allows each adult to brew up to 200 gallons of beer or wine at home each year but growing even one cannabis plant is a felony unless authorized for medical purposes.
This is contrary to the spirit and intent of initiative 502, which reformed our state law and created a regulated system of licensed production, processing and sales of marijuana that has brought hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue to our state government, profits to those businesses, jobs to those who work in those businesses and economic benefit to the state and the communities where those businesses and workers spend their money.
SB 5376 Cannabis Waste
Right now, cannabis biomass is considered hazardous waste and producer/processors must mix biomass with a neutralizing medium (sand, kitty litter, etc.). In addition to missing out on a possible avenue for revenue, producer processors are being forced to contribute unnecessarily to landfills.
In the years we have worked on this issue, we have built broad stakeholder support across agency, waste management, the environmental sustainability community, and the cannabis industry.
Let’s make another big step towards waste reduction!
HB 1159/SB 5069 Interstate Commerce
The future of legal cannabis in the US is interstate. When federal legalization happens, the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution will forbid states with legal markets from discriminating against cannabis grown or products produced in other states. Currently, however, legal industries are state-siloed. But cannabis doesn’t grow equally well, or efficiently, or sustainably in all parts of the country.
If state legislature is not in session when the federal government takes action it could be up to a year or more before Washington businesses can participate in a national market.