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Meet Chandra Brady, New Liquor and Cannabis Board Enforcement and Education Division Director
On Feb. 1, 2021, the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) announced that Chandra Brady was beginning her tenure as the new Director of Enforcement and Education. Her first day on the job was that day.
Ms. Brady was chosen following a nationwide search. She most recently served as the Administrator for the Olympia Police Department (OPD). In that capacity, she provided strategic leadership for OPD, oversaw 30+ employees, and the department’s $21 million budget. Her leadership role spanned across divisions with commissioned and non-commissioned staff including: corrections, warrants, records, policy development, contracts, technology, legal, finance, public records and community-based crisis response and outreach. She is a partially-commissioned law enforcement officer and has formerly served as the OPD Jail Manager and as Deputy Chief of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
The Enforcement and Education Director leads approximately 180 officers and staff. In addition, the Enforcement and Education Director plays a key role in agency decision making and often represents the LCB with the Governor’s Office, state Legislature and stakeholders.
“LCB officers are the ones who interact the most in-person with over 25,000 businesses statewide,” said LCB Director Rick Garza. “Chandra brings provide proven leadership that will guide her team in the dynamic marketplaces the LCB regulates.”
“I am very excited about inheriting a division that is at the right time for positive change,” said Brady. “I am inheriting an experienced team that I intend to take to the next level by adding value through leadership, consistency, and integrity and steadily improving relationships with the businesses we regulate. Balancing public safety, education, and building trust are the ingredients licensees and the public need to work together in a fair, quality regulatory system which supports revenue generating activity and adds to the economy of Washington State.”
Brady has a history of broad leadership within each organization of which she has been part. She is currently seeking a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership.
Chief Nordhorn to Transition to Director of Policy and External Affairs
Former Chief Justin Nordhorn will transition to a new role as Director of Policy and External Affairs. In that capacity, Nordhorn will be overseeing a newly formed outreach team consisting of existing LCB staff. That team is developing an outreach strategy to directly engage stakeholders and licensees to further education, understanding of and compliance with LCB rules and policies.
Modernization Project (SMP) Update
In June 2020, the agency launched SMP as a project to modernize and replace the outdated platforms used extensively by LCB’s Licensing and Enforcement and Education divisions. The project will also transform LCB business operations by optimizing the benefits of a new and modern platform – SalesForce.
Our current systems are decades old which makes them ancient by modern technology standards. They are also difficult and expensive to maintain and carry significant risk they could fail. The project, once completed, will have a significant and positive impact on the agency’s operations and licensees - applicants and existing licensees.
and Slalom Inc.
Last year LCB sent you information about the decision to use SalesForce as the technology platform for SMP and that we’d chosen Slalom Inc. as the vendor to provide the systems integration service for SalesForce.
Since the project kicked off, the SMP team has completed the Discovery Phase of the project. During this phase, the SMP Project team members led working sessions with Licensing and Enforcement and Education subject matter experts (SMEs) to further identify, review and refine the requirements for integrating these systems. They also worked with licensees of all types to identify the challenges within the agency’s current systems and how a new system could improve licensee experience with LCB’s systems and processes.
During the Discovery Phase of the project, Slalom recognized that the effort to meet all of the agency’s “must-have” requirements was much more complex than originally anticipated.
Because of this, the LCB Project Team members led working sessions with Licensing and Education and Enforcement SMEs to identify and further review and define the must-have requirements. Based on this information, Slalom recently revised their proposal with an updated one adding the revised requirements.
Given Washington’s state’s procurement rules, any material changes to a contract’s scope and/or price need to be managed via a new procurement cycle. In other words, the revised work needs to be put out for competitive bid.
Request For Proposals (RFP)
As a result, LCB will be preparing an RFP for the revised scope of work following procurement rules.
While this sets back the project’s timeline, what’s most important is that the foundational work completed on SMP has positioned the agency well moving forward. We have taken the right steps to refine the SMP scope, which supports our long-term success.
While SMP is undertaking the RFP process, the Project Team members will continue their work on data conversion and migration of images from Oracle to LaserFiche and on the Organizational Change Management work that will help us assess and prepare for the new system
The LCB remains committed to a system that will better meet your needs and those of the agency, stakeholders and the public.
If you have any questions, please send them to SMP@lcb.wa.gov.
The Cannabis Consultants Program: Off to a Promising Start
We introduced our Cannabis Compliance Consultant Team. One month in and we’re already hearing good things. One licensee wrote that he was visited due to an issue with his operation plan. He described the encounter as “a breath of fresh air.”
The goal of the Compliance Consultants is to help licensees understand and comply with state cannabis requirements, laws, and rules (RCWs and WACs) and to help licensees achieve and maintain compliance. They will do formal consultations and they are available at other times to answer questions, provide trainings, or give technical assistance with operational issues. Check our recent Marijuana Bulletin 21-01 to learn more about the program.
Voluntary participation is available for cannabis producers, processors, retailers, researchers, and transporter licensees.
Consultants don’t replace Officers
Compliance Consultants cannot issue violations and they work in collaboration with LCB Enforcement Officers
Requesting a Consultation
The LCB has an online form to request a formal consultation. But if you have questions about the program, need help or information, or just want to introduce yourself to your area’s new Consultant, please reach out directly via email. We suggest including both your Officer and the Consultant on all email since they work as a team and can determine how best to meet your needs in a timely manner. You can call your local office, or 360-664-9878.
Rules Updates and
Recently Adopted Rules
The LCB adopted final rules (CR-103) related to implementation of 2020 legislation Substitute Senate Bill 6206, now codified as RCW 69.50.331(8)(e), to create a certificate of compliance for marijuana business premises. The WSLCB must issue a certificate of compliance for a marijuana business applicant's premises, if the premises meets the statutory buffer zone requirements at the time the application was filed.
The certificate allows the licensee to operate the business at the proposed location notwithstanding a later occurring, otherwise disqualifying factor. This certificate is not a license to produce, process, research, or sell marijuana at the location. All other marijuana licensing requirements must be met in order to receive a license or to continue operating under an existing license. The rules took effect February 6, 2021. To learn more, see: chapter 314-55 WAC (cannabis business premise certificate of compliance).
The LCB filed a rule proposal (CR-102) related to implementation of 2020 legislation, HB 2826 (cannabis vapor products) on December 9, 2020. The formal public comment period closed on February 3. This bill was passed by the legislature in response to an outbreak of lung injuries associated with individuals who consume THC or nicotine vapor products, designated as e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury, referred to in short as “EVALI.” This rule package, consistent with HB 2826, proposes the following:
- New definition in WAC 314-55-010(4) for “characterizing flavor”
- New definition in WAC 314-55-010(40) for “terpenes” as well as sub-definitions for “botanical terpenes,” “synthetic terpenes,” and “terpenoids”
- New section, WAC 314-55-550 – Marijuana vapor products, outlining the Board’s processes for regulating cannabis vapor products
- New section, WAC 314-55-1055 – Ingredient disclosure. Please note, this section is currently active under the Board’s adoption of emergency rule and is authorized under statute as provided by HB 2826. This emergency rule has been continuously in effect since October 2019.
To learn more, see:
To sign up for email notifications regarding WSLCB Rulemaking, please follow this link to join our GovDelivery subscriber list.
Questions about the rules in progress or rulemaking process? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
All Changes: Extractor Equipment
There is a lot of information to remember and understand about closed loop extractions and cannabis businesses.
WAC 314-55-104 explains most of the requirements when it comes to using solvents and extraction units for processing cannabis. Please remember that you must inform the LCB whenever you:
a. Acquire a new extraction unit
b. Relocate an extraction unit to a new room or building
c. Assume a business where there is an existing unit
- Assumption or;
The LCB has processes in place to ensure closed loop extraction units on licensed cannabis premises are identified and appropriately reviewed by the proper authorities to help maintain community safety.
For additional information or questions, call your assigned consultant or email email@example.com.
Thank You for Your Feedback
In February 2020, the Cannabis Licensing Management Team began conducting exit interviews with applicants to identify ways to improve our customer service. We asked six questions to assess customer service, timeliness, education, responsiveness, and other opportunities to improve our processes.
After nearly a year, we have conducted 616 interviews; 84% of the responses have been positive. Your feedback (both positive and constructive) has helped us identify areas for improvement.
We will continue to focus on timeliness in 2021. If you participated in one of our interviews, thank you for helping us in our ongoing efforts to improve the licensing process.
Do you have questions about insurance requirements for your cannabis-licensed business?
WAC 314-55-082 requires licensees to carry and maintain commercial general liability insurance at all times. These rules are intended to protect the consumer. Make sure your insurance covers all the bases:
- Commercial general liability insurance not less than one million dollars
- This insurance shall cover claims that may be caused by any act, omission, or negligence of the licensee or its officers, agents, representatives, assigns, or servants.
- The insurance shall also cover bodily injury, including disease, illness and death, and property.
- The state and its employees, agents, and volunteers shall be named as an additional insured on insurance policies.
Legal Stuff: Estates
Our article in the Fall 2020 newsletter brought up a lot of questions about estates. We want to address those for you.
When a licensee passes away, no matter the structure of the business (sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, etc.), Licensing must begin an estate process. We work with the remaining members on the license or whoever the court has appointed through a testamentary/administration letter to determine next steps for the business.
At times, a special permission letter is required in order for someone to continue running the business (for example, if the licensee was a sole proprietor and has no other people in their entity) while the estate process is underway. Other times, the remaining members of the entity will run the business during the course of the estate process.
No matter the scenario, the Liquor and Cannabis Board uses the estate process to determine:
- Who has the rights to the deceased members share of the business.
- Who needs to qualify as a true party of interest to keep the license viable.
Please keep in mind that all true parties of interest must be over the age of 21, Washington State residents for at least six months, and meet all other requirements outlined in WAC 314-55-140 and WAC 314-55-015.
If the deceased member has a will that specifically identifies who will inherit the business, a copy of the will and the death certificate may be sufficient to close the estate.
If there is no will (or if the will does not specify who will inherit the business), the estate will likely go through the courts (probate) to determine the outcome. Depending on the details of the specific case, the license could remain viable while the estate is in process. However, there is a possibility the license may be discontinued if there are no other members in the entity and a special permission letter is not issued.
It is very important that you notify Licensing as soon as possible if a member of your entity passes away. To start the estate process, please email a copy of the deceased’s death certificate with the your license number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Protecting your Business from Burglary
The Liquor and Cannabis Board continues to learn about burglaries occurring at cannabis businesses. We are sharing this information and asking that you continue to be proactive in your approach to prevent crime in your community and your business. If you have not done so already, please take time to incorporate additional measures to prevent a crime from occurring at your business.
As always, do not put yourself, employees, or customers in harm’s way. If targeted, cooperate with demands and be a good witness. Here are some important reminders:
If you employ security guards at your business, have them make routine patrols of your property and be visible. Have security watch the outside of your building and parking areas, giving them time to identify and react to a potential threat. If you don’t have security, designate an employee to monitor the cameras and routinely check the outside of the business.
Pay attention to individuals in your business. Criminals often “case” a location to gather intelligence on the inner workings of the business. They may ask questions of your staff about what time you close, how many people are working, do you only take cash, etc. You may see these same individuals taking mental notes, and even pictures, of the layout of your business to include points of entry and office areas where video equipment and safes may be located.
Do not hesitate to call the police. If it is an emergency, dial 911. If you see suspicious activity, for non-emergency situations please use the non-emergency number for your local police department. Non-emergency examples would be people sitting in your parking lot for extended periods of time or individuals in your store that employees feel are acting suspiciously. Make note of the type of vehicle and license plate numbers associated with suspicious people and activity.
Systems and Cameras
Make sure you have a valid, active, alarm use permit and that business contact information you provided to your alarm monitoring company is up to date. Remember, if you do not have a valid alarm use permit, police will not be dispatched to your business for a burglar alarm set off by motion detectors, door trips, or glass breaks.
If you do not have panic buttons/switches at various points throughout your business, it is recommended you consider this option. Police are always dispatched to robbery and panic alarms.
Ensure cameras are operational and recording properly. Cameras are required to cover all points of ingress and egress as well as points of sale. Check to see if cameras are capturing your parking areas. This is an area where valuable information about suspects and vehicles can be obtained.
Ensure the quality of your video images and recordings. This is often the difference in being able to identify persons and vehicles. Ensure there is always an employee on site during business hours that has access and can operate your camera equipment. It is highly recommended that you always have someone available that can respond to your business after hours in the event of a burglary that can access the camera equipment.
Take a moment to examine the amount of product and money being stored at your locations. Explore options that allow your business to have a minimal amount of cash on hand. Also consider locking up product daily at the close of business.
Conduct routine trainings with your staff to discuss approaches you can take to help prevent crime. If you are the victim of a crime, call 911 as soon as possible after it happens.