Officials in Washington are considering overhauling the state’s adult-use cannabis laws, including adding a social equity program, the Associated Press reports. The Liquor and Cannabis Board are calling the proposals “Cannabis 2.0” and trying to amend the laws to be in line with what the market will look like in the next five years.
The agency is considering changes like having the Department of Ecology oversee cannabis laboratory testing and the Department of Financial Institutions look into the ownership structures of cannabis businesses. The board is also considering abandoning its seed-to-sale tracking system – which has been beset by issues throughout the five years cannabis has been legalized in the state.
While Washington is not currently issuing new cannabis licenses, 11 retailers have surrendered their licenses and officials could make those available to social equity applicants, including minorities, women, and military veterans, according to the report. Legislation in the state would create a technical assistance program for social equity applicants which would give them access to grants totaling at least $100,000 per year. The agency could open up another licensing process for social equity applicants if cities and counties agree to add more cannabusinesses.
The Liquor and Cannabis Board is also reportedly considering allowing cannabis exports if the federal government allows it – similar to the law recently approved by neighboring Oregon.
Lawmakers, meanwhile, are considering a plan to allow the state’s tier one, or smallest, cultivators to sell directly to the state’s medical cannabis patients on-site, which would help patients receive medical-grade products and the cultivators. Another proposal would allow those cultivators to expand their operations from 2,000 square feet to 5,000 square feet and, possibly, 8,000 square feet.
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