Here’s the Table of Contents

Winter Edition 2019 – Cannabis

Topics

  • Board Approves Jan. 1, 2020 Effective Date for All Marijuana Products, Packaging and Labeling

  • Moving? 
  • Assigning Applications by Region – Update
  • Did You Know…
  • Trending Now: Use of Personal Funds and Ownership Changes
  • Pesticide Disclosures
  • Observations from the Field: Discounting Product Between Processors an Retailers
  • Paying Your Excise Tax
  • Legislative Session and the Licensing Process
  • 2019 Legislative Session – Agency Proposed Legislation
  • Leaf Data Systems Update

Full Newsletter

https://data.lcb.wa.gov/stories/s/Topics-and-Trends-Marijuana-Winter-2018/tdtm-4fyz/

Board Approves Jan. 1, 2020 Effective Date for All Marijuana Products, Packaging and Labeling

On January 9, 2019 the Board approved a motion to make the effective date for all marijuana product, packaging and labeling requirements Jan 1, 2020. You can read more about product packaging and labeling requirements on the Understanding Board Interim Policies for Packaging and Labeling section of the LCB website. On this page, you’ll find the previously announced Board Interim Policies, approved colors and shapes, links to the recent webinar and accompanying PowerPoint, and other useful information.

Moving?

You cannot move your marijuana business without prior approval from the WSLCB.  Your license is tied to your location.  If you move without prior approval, the WSLCB may discontinue your license. 
As soon as you know you plan to move to a new location, apply for a change of location through Business Licensing Services, here.

Assigning Applications by Region – Update

In October, the Licensing Division began assigning applications by region. We made this change to improve consistency and communication between Licensing and Enforcement and to provide better customer service for licensees and applicants. So far the feedback from licensees has been positive.  

Did You Know…

Fire Marshal approval is required any time your extraction method requires the use of a closed-loop system or ethanol.  When processing an application to add these extraction types, your Licensing Specialist will ask for a copy of the Fire Marshal approval. If you plan to use ethanol in the extraction process, a Class 2 permit from the WSLCB is also required which allows you to purchase ethanol. You can find the application for a Class 2 permit here.   
WSLCB approval is required before you add any new extraction type. To start the process, submit an application to alter your operating plan 

Trending Now: Use of Personal Funds

On December 12, 2018, the WSLCB passed Board Interim Policy (BIP) 06-2018 which allows marijuana licensees to spend personal funds on their marijuana business prior to the Board vetting the funds. Some key factors to note:
  • Funds can only be used once the WSLCB receives an Additional Funding Application.
  • The policy only applies to approved owners who are investing their own personal money into the business.
  • Licensing will investigate the source of the additional funds. 
If the source of funds is questionable, unverifiable, or determined by the WSLCB to be gained in a manner which is in violation of law, the WSLCB will conduct further investigation regarding the funds.

Ownership Changes

You must receive approval from the WSLCB before you make any changes to your license ownership, ( WAC 314-55-120)  including the addition or removal of any true party of interest (as defined in WAC 314-55-035).  If you want to make changes to your licensed entity, submit a Change in Governing People application. Until that application is processed and approved, we will not approve any other changes to your business.  Failure to report changes in ownership could lead to an enforcement investigation.

Pesticide Disclosures

As of January 1, 2019, marijuana retailers must provide all consumers, for as long as the products are for sale, a statement that discloses all pesticides applied to the marijuana plants and growing medium during production of the useable marijuana or the base marijuana used to create the concentrate or the extract added to infused products.  This information must be available to the consumer in the store prior to purchase, and may be provided by means of a web address, QR code, or hard copy inside the store.  The marijuana producer/processor may include this required information on the marijuana package, but it remains the responsibility of the marijuana retailer to ensure the information is available to the consumer prior to the marijuana product sale. 
Additionally, upon request of the retail customer, a marijuana retailer must disclose the name of the certified lab that conducted and the results of the required quality assurance tests for any marijuana or marijuana products the customer is purchasing or considering purchasing.  There is no provision in rule for referring the consumer to “look it up themselves” at a remote location or website, and the information must be provided in the store upon request.
WSLCB Enforcement officers will begin working with marijuana retailers to educate staff, check for violations, and take appropriate action to gain compliance.  You can review this recent rule change on the agency website.
Please contact your WSLCB Enforcement Officer if you have any questions about implementation and enforcement of this important public safety rule.

Observations from the Field: Discounting Product Between Processors and Retailers.  

It has come to our attention that processors are offering volume discounts to retailers on marijuana product. Licensees should be aware that this activity is not allowed. WAC 315-55-018 prohibits discounts between the manufacturing and retailer tiers and WAC 314-55-017prohibits processors from requiring the purchase of other products as a condition of a transaction. In the case of volume discounting, requiring retailers to purchase a specific amount of product in order to receive a discount directly conflicts with the WACs. Price on product should be sold uniformly across the industry regardless of the amount purchased or how much money is spent.

Paying Your Excise Tax

WAC 314-55-089 requires Marijuana Retail licenses to self-report their monthly marijuana product sales to the LCB using either the paper form (Retailers Sales and Excise Tax) or by using the point of sale system monthly summary report. Licenses are to report both the calculated tax amount and the amount of additional collected tax. When remitting the marijuana excise tax to the LCB, the greater of the collected vs. calculated is to be paid.  The collected marijuana excise tax may be paid by check, cashier’s check, money order or electronic funds transfer. 
Waiver
Licenses may apply for a payment waiver if they are able to show good cause by demonstrating they are:
  • In the process of getting a bank account
  • Have lost their bank
  • The bank has denied their application
  • Some other reason why they are unable to get money orders or a bank account. 
Payment Methods
Payments other than electronic funds, may be in person or by mail. When mailing a payment, the post mark date must be on or before the tax due date. 
  • Payments made by electronics fund transfer are considered received the date they are entered into Payment Station. 
  • Payments made in person, by electronic funds transfer or mail post marked or received after the tax due date will be assessed a two percent late payment penalty

Legislative Session and the Licensing Process

The 2019 legislative session began January 14 and runs through April 28, 2019. During that time our licensing specialists get an increase in calls from stakeholders about how proposed legislation impacts their business. It’s important to remember that a bill is just an idea and non-binding until it passes. A bill does not become law until it passes both the House and the Senate and is signed by the Governor. 
The WSLCB cannot make changes to its process based on proposed legislation. Only after a bill has become law and effective (date found in the legislation) will the changes be incorporated. At the conclusion of each legislative session agency staff compile fact sheets about all of the bills that passed which affect our licensees and operations. These sheets contain a bill summary, how to apply (if applicable), who to contact for questions, and can be found on the LCB website.

2019 Legislative Session Agency Proposed Legislation

Following is a brief synopsis of the bills LCB has requested that impact marijuana licensees:
Systems Modernization Project Account
  • The expiration date of the Licensing and Enforcement System Modernization Project Account is revised from June 30, 2019 to September 1, 2023.
  • This will not cost licensees any money.  It simply allows the funds to be spent on the purpose for which the fees were collected in the first place – modernizing our legacy computer and record keeping systems – after July 1, 2019.
  • Otherwise, the $1.2 million in currently available funds would be transferred to the state general fund
Budtender Permit
  • Modeled on the training required for employees who serve alcohol for on-premises consumption, this permit would be required for cannabis retail store employees who sell or service marijuana products for the public. 
  • The training program would be developed by the LCB and would be good for two years.
Uniform Enforcement Authority 
  • This bill would give LCB enforcement officers the same authority to enforce state laws for cannabis, tobacco and vapor products that they currently have for alcohol law enforcement.
Note: these are the bills the agency has requested and does not reflect other proposed legislation that may affect the industry.

Leaf Data Systems Update

The next software release for Leaf Data Systems is coming soon! Release 1.37.5 will include a variety of workflow improvements, especially related to waste reporting, inventory type attributes, lab results, inventory transfers, and the ability to adjust previously entered sales data. General improvements will include numeric standardization that will standardize decimal values pertaining to weights and the replacement of drop-down menus with “type-ahead” search fields for batches, inventories and inventory types. 
It’s anticipated that the release will be launched in March. Prior to release, licensees will be notified, in plain language, details of each of the changes in 1.37.5. Updated training materials will be made available at the same time. 
Two additional software releases will follow, bringing Leaf Data Systems to full functionality. 
For technical support with Leaf Data Systems:
     Call 888-420-5813
For questions about your license:
     Call 360-664-1600
     Visit lcb.wa.gov
For questions about taxes:
     Call 360-664-1789
     Visit lcb.wa.gov
For Traceability compliance questions:
     Call 360-664-1614