Washington legalized adult-use marijuana five years ago, and now, it appears that the state is considering making some changes, particularly to the industry rules, according to the Associated Press. The publication reported that the state is also looking to increase minority ownership of pot businesses, which would allow for home deliveries of medical cannabis.
The overhaul is referred to as Cannabis 2.0 by the Liquor and Cannabis Board. The Board’s Director Rick Garza participated in an interview with the Associated Press. According to the report, the Board has been working with other agencies to determine market regulation. Example, the Department of Ecology would be in charge of certifying marijuana testing labs, while the Department of Financial Institutes would be responsible for overseeing ownership structures of licensed businesses.
Two bills have been proposed by the Board during the legislative session. The first bill would enact a social equity program, which would encourage ownership of marijuana businesses by minorities, military veterans, and women. The second proposal is that the Department of Commerce have a technical assistance program, in which $100,000 in grants per year would be provided to aid minorities. The funds could be used for licensing, compliance, facilities, training, and the like.
A third legislative proposal is to help struggling producers, who are referred to as “tier one.” These are the smallest producers, whose have 2,000 square feet of plants. They would be permitted to sell medical-grade marijuana to registered marijuana patients in the states. They would also be able to sell to patients onsite.
These types of changes, and others identified in the interview, have the potential to disrupt the industry. As Garza stated, it is important to be cautious because retailers have real concerns.
Ultimately, the proposed changes appear significant, but they may be beneficial as well.
Note: This article is for general informational and educational purposes only. Nothing should be interpreted as legal or wellness advice.