WACA, the Washington Cannabusiness Association, of which I am a Board member, recently hosted a leadership panel as to the current state as well as the future of our industry. Several legislators from both sides of the aisle attended and took part. It was a lively discussion with all parties contributing to the conversation. Questions from an audience of approximately 200 were taken and in all, we met and talked for nearly two hours.
Two general categories of Q & A took place; one was what we could in the industry do to make ourselves more appealing to those who are not in favor of legalization of adult-use Cannabis. The other was illegal activities in Cannabis in Washington State and the possible future impact this could have on us all as these illegal activities could bring down the 502 industry as we know if left unchecked.
It is these illegal activities that I would like to discuss and report to you about. Out of State investment in 502 is still illegal in Washington State. While we are trying to loosen out of state investment so we can be like any other industry, it is illegal as of now. Apparently there has been several high profile cases where international monies have been used to purchase land, building, houses, equipment etc for the expressed purpose of creating large-scale grow and distribution networks. It would seem these investments are not necessarily intended to make product available for sale in Washington, but rather other States all across the Country.
This creates several issues which the Federal government is very troubled by; intrastate transportation of a controlled substance, Cannabis products being sold in States that HAVE NOT legalized yet for adult use, loss of control and tracking for vetting purposes of those who are in and operating outside the regulatory framework deemed so critical in gaining permission by way of the Justice Department’s “Cole Memo”. We are as industry advocates calling for the LCB to ask for tax revenues created via 502 to be used and directed to law enforcement for the expressed purpose of keeping bad actors out of our State 502 legal Cannabis industry therefore protecting our right to continue with less fear of Federal interference.
Edibles and the Liquor Control Board (LCB)
As many of you may know, the LCB, in their continuing ongoing and questionable wisdom, unilaterally and very much by surprise banned several popular edibles, including but not limited to Gummies. While they freely admitted these products and packages were approved by the LCB previously, with very little warning and with little or no public or industry input, banned several items. We in the industry have jumped into action.
As many of you may also know, I am a Board member of the Washington Cannabusiness Association, WACA. We met in an emergency session with key members of two additional influential associations, the Cannabis Alliance and C.O.R.E. in order to formulate a strategy as to how we in the industry could most effectively respond to this latest crisis in rules and rule-making.
We all met for more than two hours at LemonHaze and came up with some ideas and suggestions that we and the LCB could implement to deal with the concerns and simultaneously help secure the companies who manufacture these products. Without clarity and solid direction, businesses large and small have a great deal of difficulty conducting business and making plans for the future. The meeting with the LCB is scheduled to happen tomorrow, October 30. I’ll get back to you with the results of this meeting. Please keep your fingers crossed; several hundred jobs are at stake if these products in fact continue to be banned.
We in the industry in our State are doing things the right way. We are rule followers and we gladly embrace the idea and framework that regulates our businesses. We must continue to work diligently to protect and always be improving our industry.
Rob Hendrix, owner
Cannabis Consulting Nationwide, LLC
Cannabis Central of Ellensburg, LLC