5 Years In, Washington Considers Overhaul Of Cannabis Regulation

Assoc Press report….

“We’ve typically been so challenged with the issues of the day we haven’t been looking out long-term to determine what the future looks like,” Garza said.

The board has been freeing up its bandwidth by coordinating with other agencies to share the responsibility of regulating the market, such as having the Department of Ecology oversee the certification of marijuana testing labs and the Department of Financial Institutions examine the sometimes complicated ownership structures of licensed cannabis businesses.

One big-picture issue the board could rethink is whether to abandon the state’s seed-to-sale marijuana tracking program, which has long been beset by software issues, sometimes grinding business to a halt, in favor of a system where businesses report their transactions to the board and are then audited. Another is whether to prepare to allow marijuana exports, as Oregon did this year, in the event the federal government approves it.

For the next session of the Legislature, the board has proposed two bills. One would create what some critics describe as a long-overdue “social equity” program, encouraging greater ownership of marijuana businesses by minorities, women and military veterans.

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