WACA’s 2017 Legislative Priorities
WACA is a democratically-run organization and its members determined its 2017 legislative and regulatory agendas during its summer conference in July 2016.
In 2017, we will:
- Defend Integrity of I-502 System
WACA will support proposals that strengthen the licensed system and that leverage the significant time and financial resources invested to comply with state regulations. We will oppose any effort that undermines the legal system or that improperly benefits those who continue to operate in the illegal grey or black markets.
- Regulatory Stability Budget Request
WACA will actively support an increased appropriation to strengthen enforcement of the system and accountability from licensees. Increased capacity for LCB would support:
- standardized training protocols for enforcement officers
- a single point of contact within LCB for existing licensees – allowing for consistent and reliable information
- an updated traceability system
- service level agreements for LCB (reasonable response times in licensing process, timely response on enforcement)
- Consumption Lounges
Community norms when it comes to the use of cannabis differ across the state. WACA will support legislation allowing local control of ordinances that would create rules regulating consumption lounges for adults over the age of 21.
In a competitive environment, 502-licensees are currently allowed to deploy sidewalk advertising (e.g. off premise advertising like sign spinners) to draw adult consumers to their businesses. For many, a larger sign would suffice. WACA is committed to being a good neighbor and member of the community and proposes changes to signage restrictions to mitigate the need for pedestrian advertising in place of a reasonably-sized, visible sign marking their business.
- Out of State Investment
Since the passage of I-502, investment in Washington-licensed businesses has been restricted to only Washington residents. As the movement to legalize cannabis has expanded nationwide, the limitations in-state should be adjusted to account for new, out-of-state competition. Like other Washington-grown and produced products, cannabis businesses should be empowered to flourish alongside and compete with their peers in other states.
- Licensing Agreements
WACA will propose legislation that allows for non-residents of Washington state to invest in Washington businesses as long as they do not own more than 50% of the Washington-based business and ensuring that they comply with rigorous requirements for transparency for all qualified investors. In addition, WACA will seek clarification in the law that will allow standard brand licensing agreements, which is common in other industries.
- Community Mobilization Funding
As stated in its Code of Conduct, WACA will collaborate with community, public health and neighborhood organizations committed to safety, substance abuse, and education. Voters in Washington approved Initiative 502 for the use of cannabis products for responsible adults aged 21 or over. WACA supports funding for community-based programs that raise awareness about substance abuse and community violence.