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Vendor Days is one of the activities where a retail marijuana licensee may showcase a particular marijuana producer/processor and their product. This allowance is in RCW 69.50.585 - allowing personal service conducted by a producer/processor at the licensed premises to inform, educate or enhance customer knowledge or experience. It cannot be required by the retailer or an obligation of the producer or processor.
What type of educational materials or products can a producer/processor bring to the marijuana retail shop to display or hand out to the public? There are strict guidelines in place regarding this, and it is important for retailers, processors and producers to be aware of them:
- Producer/processor are allowed to provide retailers branded promotional items which are nominal in value to include pencils, matches, shirts, hats or other similar items. The retailer may give the branded items to their employees to wear or use on vendor days but these items cannot be given to members of the public.
- Besides information pamphlets and flyers, the producer/processor may not provide members of the public anything of value on a retail marijuana business.
- Non-infused edibles (samples) are the only items that may be provided on vendor days, within guidelines:
- The retailer must already carry this marijuana infused product in their stores.
- The non-infused edible may be placed on the producer/processors table or anywhere within the store.
- The purpose is for the consumer to sample the type of edible before they purchase in order to determine which flavor they prefer.
- The retailer may offer discounted prices to the customer on products being displayed at the vendor days event. However, processors must continue to sell their product at the same uniform price they sell to all marijuana retailers at. They are not allowed to discount prices on products to retailers on or before vendor day.
Please note: Processor/producers are in no way obligated to provide these branded items and licensees may not require them to be provided. This is also true for personal service being conducted at the retail licensed premises.
If you need additional information please contact your local enforcement officer.
Safeguarding Others, Safeguarding Your Business
By Mary Segawa, Public Health Education Liaison
You may have seen news reports recently about the steady increase in calls to the Washington Poison Center for cannabis exposure since 2013. In 2017, there were 378 calls, up from 291 in 2016. The largest increase was for ages 0-5, which increased from 52 to 82 calls.
What is meant by a “cannabis exposure” call? Individuals and hospitals call the Poison Center for various reasons regarding cannabis. It could be an intentional abuse where an individual was purposely trying for the maximum high but ended up with adverse physical or psychological effects. Some followed all the instructions for the product but still had an adverse reaction. Another reason is unintentional use – they didn’t realize it was an infused product. Or it was an accidental exposure where a child or adult with dementia or developmental delays accidentally ingested the product.
Responsibility for intentional misuse lies mainly with the consumer. However, we can all work on reducing the unintentional exposures. As cannabis industry members, you help not only the general public but the reputation of the industry when you encourage your customers, co-workers, family and friends to take precautions to use products as directed and to store products safely. Instructing others to keep products in their original packaging, put them in lockboxes, and keep them away from those under 21 can help lower the number of calls to the Poison Center, especially for those 5 and under.
While overall calls to the Poison Center are relatively low, we can all agree that any unintentional exposures and adverse reactions are not in anyone’s best interests. Thank you for spreading the word.
Meet New Deputy Director Pat Kohler
Earlier this month Pat Kohler started her new position as Deputy Director. Licensees may be familiar with the name, Pat served as LCB Director from January, 2002 until June, 2013 when she left to serve as Director at the Department of Licensing. With over 35 years of state service, Pat feels strongly about making a difference for the citizens of our state. She connects with the agency’s mission to promote public safety and trust, and enjoys working the business and customer service angles that are crucial to her role.
Her initial goals are to improve processes and service delivery for customers. She believes in the customer voice, and is eager to help the agency address technical issues, while covering the political, compliance and operational aspects of projects such as traceability.
Pat has experiencing implementing major technology projects. Her top focus is on the treaceability project, where she'll serve as the project's new executive sponsor.
The Marijuana Licensing Unit is excited to share that they are close to completing the licensing of all initial applications submitted under Initiative 502. That's over 7,000 applications originally submitted and caseloads of up to 200 applications each.
Applicants that were ready to go from the beginning were the first licensed while the more complex ones took much longer than originally anticipated. Common issues that impacted timelines were the inability to secure a location, entity structure changes and financing. With all of the licenses issued our investigators will turn to processing change requests full time.
Just a reminder to our licensees that any changes to the licensed business structure, location or investments require prior board approval. Licensing is happy to answer any questions you might have regarding making changes to your licensed business.
Finished Product - Processor to Processor Sales
Many processors have asked whether sales of finished products between processors may occur. The most common business model example that we have heard is a producer/processor grows and generally makes useable marijuana (flower/bud) and pre-rolled joints and is interested in expanding their brand to edible products, but doesn’t want to go through a redesign of the premises to add an extractor and edible processing kitchen. Instead, they want to sell their product to another processor with those capabilities to create edible products for them that will then be packaged in finished product form and sold back to the initial processor for labeling under the processor’s brand.
Processor to processor sales of finished products are permissible under RCW 69.50.325: Processors may “process, package, and label marijuana concentrates, useable marijuana, and marijuana-infused products for sale at wholesale to marijuana processors and marijuana retailers.” Processors may engage in one, several, or all of these activities under the law.
The former traceability system didn’t allow it. The new system can accommodate this. If you run into issues with traceability with these transfers, please use the contact information for Leaf, available on our website: https://lcb.wa.gov/mjtrace/contact.
Our Licensing Division provides free WebEx classes for applicants and licensees about a variety of alcohol and cannabis related topics. These classes, led by agency experts, are geared towards users and their questions.
Please check out the upcoming classes and sign up for the topics that interest you. We record each session, so if you missed a session you are interested in, check out our archives.
In addition, the LCB holds quarterly webinars on current topics. You may view past topics on our Webinar Archive page.
Cannabis Rules Update
Several rulemakings are currently underway and are detailed below. As always, we encourage your participation in the rulemaking process and value public input. You can find information about any current rulemaking on the Proposed Rules webpage under Laws and Rules on the WLSCB’s website. You can also find additional materials related to rulemaking items brought to Board meetings on the Board’s webpage under Board Meeting Schedule and Information, here.
Packaging and Labeling Rules
- Reminder! Packaging and Labeling rules have been updated and licensees may phase in the new requirements at any time from now until January 1, 2019.
- All products must be packaged and labeled according to the new rule requirements by January 1, 2019. This also means that all previously approved products still being created must be updated with the new requirements and re-approved prior to January 1, 2019. Please plan accordingly.
- See our website for more details, universal symbol file downloads, our updated label approval process, and other resources: https://lcb.wa.gov/laws/labeling-resources
2017 Cannabis Legislation Rules
- The WSLCB previously submitted rules with changes from the 2017 legislative session, plus many other needed changes, for consideration by the Board.
- Due to the comments received and additional changes needing to be made to the proposed rules, the WSLCB is working on a Supplemental CR-102 with adjustments to the original proposed rule drafts for Board consideration.
- Once the Board approves filing the Supplemental CR-102 with additional changes, you will have another opportunity to review, comment, and participate at a public hearing on the proposals.
- The adjusted proposed rules are expected to be brought to the Board at the August 22, 2018, Board meeting and notice of the public comment period and public hearing will be send to our email notification at that time. Stay tuned.
2018 Legislation Rules – ESSHB 2334 regarding CBD products made outside the regulated system
- ESSHB 2334 passed during the 2018 that requires any CBD product used as an additive in marijuana products (cannot be sold stand-alone) must be tested prior to being able to be used. The Legislature required the WSLCB to develop testing requirements for these products in rule.
- The WSLCB has been hard at work drafting proposals for testing requirements as directed by the Legislature in ESSHB 2334, as well as changes to traceability that will be needed to ensure products coming in are properly traced.
- Draft rules (CR-102) will be brought to the Board for consideration in the coming weeks.
Retail Title Certificates – BIP, moving towards permanent rules
- A Board Interim Policy (BIP-04-2018) to create a Cannabis Retail License Certificate process and CR-101 to initiate rulemaking on this subject was approved by the Board on April 18, 2018. These certificates are to allow those retailers within bans and moratoria to hold a certificate in place of a retail license so that all conditions of the license, such as rent, insurance, security, etc., do not have to be maintained while the license is within a ban or moratoria.
- Rulemaking is underway to incorporate the provisions in the Board Interim Policy into rules.
How can you participate in the rulemaking process?
Introductory Videos to Leaf Data Systems Updated
As MJ Freeway works toward Leaf Data Systems software updates, they are also updating the training materials available to licensees.
The six general overview webinars have been updated and the links have been refreshed on the Leaf Training for Licensees page at the LCB website. Scroll down to the section labeled "Introductory Webinars on Leaf Data Systems: An Overview" to view the refreshed webinars.
For technical support with Leaf Data Systems:
For questions about your license:
For questions about taxes:
For Traceability compliance questions: