UPDATED: 2017 Washington Legislative Cannabis Bill Report

STATUS UPDATES current as of 3/10/17 (changes in Red)

Washington State lawmakers are getting busy in Olympia on tweaking the State’s cannabis laws and policies. With at least 26 bills submitted to the House or Senate, 2017 could be a big legislative year for marijuana activists, entrepreneurs, and policy makers. Take a look at Gleam Law’s summary of each bill below, courtesy of the Rep. Rodger Goodman‘s office.

Growing/Processing:

  • HB 1461: Creating a voluntary marijuana production standard and certification program.
    • Creates a voluntary marijuana production/processing program within the WADA to certify and regulate marijuana products meeting the organic product standards established by the National Organic Program.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • Still in House Committee on Appropriations (2/24)
      • No progress since.
  • HB 1462: Adding authority to the Department of Agriculture to regulate the sanitary processing of marijuana-infused edibles.
    • Allows the WADA to participate in production and processing of marijuana-infused edibles.
    • Establishes that the LCB and WADA have joint authority to regulate such production and processing.
    • Requires that producers and processors of edibles be licensed through the business licensing system and have a license endorsement from the WA Food-Processing Act.
    • Grants rulemaking authority to the WADA and authorizes the adoption of rules specific to edibles.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • First substitute bill passed unanimously in the House (3/2);
      • Currently scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Trade & Economic Development. (3/16)
  • SB 5131: An act relating to adding authority to the Department of Agriculture to regulate the sanitary processing of marijuana-infused edibles.
    • Authorizes the Department of Agriculture to regulate the sanitary processing of marijuana-infused edibles.
    • Requires a marijuana processor that processes, packages, or makes marijuana-infused edibles to obtain an annual marijuana-infused edible endorsement.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • First substitute bill passed by unanimous vote in the Senate (3/7)
      • Referred to Commerce & Gaming committee after first reading in the House (3/9)
  • SB 5323: An act relating to creating a voluntary marijuana production standard and certification program.
    • Creates a voluntary marijuana production standards and certification program.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • Sent to Rules Committee for second reading (2/14)
      • No progress since.

Home Growing/Medical Marijuana:

  • HB 1060: Concerning the administration of marijuana to students for medical purposes
    • Requires a school district to permit a student who meets certain requirements to consume marijuana for medical purposes on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or while attending a school-sponsored event.
    • Requires the board of directors of a school district to adopt a policy that authorizes parents, guardians, and primary caregivers to administer marijuana to a student for medical purposes while the student is on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or attending a school-sponsored event.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • First substituted bill passed House on the 3rd reading, Yeas 78, Nays 19, Excused 1. (3/3)
      • First reading in senate, referred to the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. (3/7)
  • HB 1094: Concerning medical marijuana patients and their employers
    • Prohibits an employer from discriminating against a medical marijuana qualifying patient because of the individuals’ status as a qualifying patient or positive marijuana drug test.
    • Allows an employer to discriminate if the qualifying patient used, possessed, or was impaired by marijuana on the work site premises or during work hours, or if compliance would cause an employer to lose a federal monetary or licensing-related benefit.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • Public Hearing in House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards. (1/26)
      • No progress since.
  • HB 1098Establishing a process for qualifying patients age eighteen and over and designated providers to purchase their lawful marijuana plants and seeds from marijuana retailers with a medical marijuana endorsement.
    • Authorizes and establishes a process for marijuana retail outlets with a medical marijuana endorsement to sell marijuana plants and seeds to qualifying patients age 18 and over and designated providers who have a valid authorization for medical marijuana use from a health care professional or who have a valid recognition card.
    • Authorizes qualifying patients age 18 or over and designated providers to possess an unlimited number of marijuana seeds, but retains the existing limits on the number of marijuana plants that may be grown.
    • Requires the Liquor & Cannabis Board (LCB) to adopt rules to implement the act and to establish criteria regarding the sale of marijuana plants and seeds from licensed marijuana producers to marijuana retailers.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • Public Hearing in the House Committee on Commerce & Gaming (1/17)
      • No process since.
  • HB 1212: DEAD Concerning the possession and transfer of marijuana, marijuana plants, useable marijuana, marijuana-infused products, and marijuana concentrates
    • Legalizes transfers of specified quantities of marijuana products between adults (without money)
    • Legalizes the home cultivation of up to six recreational marijuana plants.
    • Legalizes the residential possession of up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana harvested from plants lawfully grown in the residence.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • First Substituted Bill Relieved of further consideration. (1/31)

Retail/Licensing:

  • HB 1099: Addressing local governments’ unofficial moratoria on state-licensed marijuana retail outlets
    • Establishes that effective January 1, 2018, a municipality that refuses to allow the siting or operation of retail marijuana businesses absent the formal adoption of an ordinance or resolution explicitly prohibiting the operation of such businesses within its jurisdictional boundaries forfeits the following:
      • 70 percent of the municipality’s share of the monies in the Liquor Revolving Fund and
      • All of its share of state marijuana excise tax revenues to which it might otherwise be entitled.
    • Makes a city, town, or county subject to the revenue forfeiture provisions of the act if it has an ordinance or regulation that authorizes a specific number of state-licensed marijuana retail outlets that is less than the number of such outlets allotted or approved for operation within that jurisdiction by the Liquor and Cannabis Board.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • Executive session scheduled, but no action taken in the House Committee on Appropriations. (2/24)
      • No progress since.
  • HB 1125: Limiting the total number of retail marijuana licenses that may be held by a retailer and co-owners
    • Restricts, to a maximum of five, the number of retail marijuana business licenses that may be individually or collectively held by a person, partnership, or corporation.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • Original bill Passed the House on the 3rd reading; Yeas 69, Nays 28. (2/1)
      • Referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor & Sports for 1st (3/9)
  • HB 1126: Establishing a deadline for the use and implementation of a marijuana retail license by a licensee.
    • Establishes that a licensed marijuana retailer forfeits the license if the licensee fails to establish a retail business that is fully operational and open to the public within 270 days from the date of the initial issuance of the license, subject to an 180-day extension period if requested by the licensee and authorized by the Liquor & Cannabis Board (LCB).
    • Authorizes the LCB to adopt rules regarding the license forfeiture process, the establishment of administrative procedures for consideration of license extension applications, and the criteria that must be met for licensees to qualify for an extension of the license.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • Rules suspended on 3rd reading in House, (2/20)
      • 1st substituted bill PASSED House; Yeas 86, Nays 11. (2/20)
      • Referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor & Sports after the first reading. (3/9)
  • HB 1127: Concerning the licensing of marijuana- related businesses involving a partnership, employee cooperative, association, nonprofit corporation, corporation, business entity, or nonprofit entity
    • Prohibits the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) from issuing a marijuana business license to a business or nonprofit entity unless it is lawfully registered with the Secretary of State and its interest holders meet specified residency requirements.
    • Grants discretionary authority to the LCB to deny a commercial marijuana license to an entity if the entity has nonresident interest holders who are difficult to adequately investigate because of their nonresident status.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • Public hearing in the House Committee on Commerce & gaming. (1/17)
      • No progress since.
  • HB 1151: Clarifying residency requirements for licensed marijuana businesses
    • Clarifies current law by explicitly establishing that for a business entity or nonprofit entity to qualify for a marijuana-related business license, at least 50 percent of the ownership interest in the entity must be held by residents of the state of Washington.
    • Exempts a person employed as a manager or agent of a marijuana-related business from any state residency requirements.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • Public hearing in the House Committee on Commerce & gaming. (1/23)
      • No progress since.
  • HB 1152: Concerning licensing agreements and consulting contracts for licensed marijuana businesses
    • Authorizes licensed marijuana businesses to enter into certain licensing agreements or consulting contracts with other businesses and requires any such agreements or contracts to be disclosed to the Liquor & Cannabis Board.
    • Withholds from disclosure under the Public Records Act any trade secrets, technology, proprietary information, and financial considerations contained in any agreements or contracts entered into by a licensed marijuana business.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • 1st Substituted Bill referred to Rules Committee (2/8)
      • No progress since.
  • HB 1250: Authorizing retail marijuana outlets to give a free lockable drug box to adults age twenty-one years and over and to qualifying patients age eighteen years and over subject to restrictions.
    • Authorizes licensed marijuana retail outlets to receive from another person or entity and donate, at no cost, to adults age 21 and over, to qualifying patients age 18 and over, and to designated providers (1) a lockable box intended for the secure storage of marijuana products and paraphernalia; and (2) literature about such a lockable box.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • Rules suspended on 3rd reading
      • PASSED House, Yeas 96, Nays 0, Excused 2. (2/27)
      • Scheduled for Public hearing in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor & Sports (3/15)
  • HB 1487: Authorizing marijuana retailers to sell marijuana merchandise
    • Licensed marijuana retailers can sell wearable apparel connected to the retail outlet or product line.
    • Requires the Liquor and Cannabis board to establish marketing standards for such sales.
    • UPDATE:
      • Referred to Rules Committee for review (2/3)
      • No progress since.
  • SB 5264: An act relating to virtual currency.
    • Creates a definition of virtual currency to the statutes concerning marijuana.
    • Prohibits marijuana producers, marijuana processors, or retail outlets from paying with or accepting virtual currency for the purchase or sale of marijuana or any marijuana product.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • First hearing in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor & Sports (1/25)
      • No progress since.
  • SB 5282: An act relating to authorizing local governments to prohibit the operation of licensed marijuana retail businesses within alcohol impact areas.
    • Authorizes that a local jurisdiction may adopt an ordinance prohibiting marijuana retail businesses within the boundaries of an alcohol impact area (AIA).
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • First hearing in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor & Sports (1/25)
      • No progress since.
  • SB 5101: An act relating to licensing agreements and consulting contracts for licensed marijuana businesses.
    • Allows licensed marijuana businesses to enter into licensing agreements or consulting contracts for goods or services related to a marijuana business.
    • Exempts from public disclosure any trade secrets, technology, proprietary information, and financial considerations contained in agreements or contracts submitted to or obtained by the Liquor and Cannabis Board.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • First hearing in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor & Sports (1/16)
      • No progress since.
  • SB 5102: An act relating to residency requirements for licensed marijuana businesses.
    • Meeting a residency requirement is no longer needed for managers or agents of a marijuana licensee’s place of business.
    • Applying for a marijuana license requires a six-month residency requirement for 50 percent of an entity’s ownership interests.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • First hearing in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor & Sports (1/16)
      • No progress since.
  • SB 5130: An act relating to increasing marijuana license fees and adding a temporary additional fee on marijuana licenses issued by the Washington state liquor and cannabis board.
    • Raises the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) licensing and renewal fee for marijuana producers, processors, retailers, and researchers from $1,000 to $1,300.
    • Authorizes a one-time nonrefundable additional fee of $480 imposed on all marijuana license applications and renewals.
    • Requires the LCB to use the revenue from this fee to replace the LCB’s current electronic traceability system.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • Placed on 2nd reading by Rules Committee. (3/2)
  • SB 5131: An act relating to marijuana with respect to privileges for research licenses, local authority notifications, the retail licensing merit-based application process, processor wholesale events, and jurisdictional requirements.
    • Clarifies that licensed marijuana processors may only package and label products for sale to retailers.
    • Eliminates the merit-based application process to obtain a retail marijuana license.
    • Provides tribes and port authorities with the same notices regarding marijuana business applications as given to cities, towns, and counties.
    • Extends the Liquor and Cannabis Board’s (LCB) general immunity from personal liability to include the board’s duties relating to marijuana.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • 1st Substitute bill substituted. Rules suspended.
      • PASSED Senate on 3rd reading, Yeas 48, Nays 0, Excused 1. (3/7)
      • Referred to House Commerce & Gaming Committee for 1st (3/9)

Judicial Penalties:

  • HB 1065: Concerning penalties for marijuana offenses
    • Reduces the penalties for possession and transfer of marijuana products outside of the
      I-502 system in certain circumstances.
    • Authorizes the noncommercial transfer (gift) of marijuana products in amounts equal to half of the current possession limits by a person 21 years of age or older to another person(s) 21 years of age or older.
    • Requires the marijuana concentrates that a person may lawfully possess or transfer for non-commercial purposes (gift) to have been purchased from a marijuana retailer and be accompanied by packaging showing that the marijuana concentrates were purchased from a marijuana retailer.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • 1st Substitute bill adopted in House Committee on Commerce & Gaming. (2/2)
      • Placed on Second Reading by Rules Committee (2/14)
      • No progress since.
  • HB 1087: Reducing the penalty for possession of controlled substances
    • Reduces the penalty for unlawful possession of a controlled substance from a class C felony to a misdemeanor.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • Public hearing in House Committee on Public Safety (1/23)
      • No progress since.
  • HB 1260: Providing for the vacation of misdemeanor marijuana offense convictions
    • Requires a court to vacate misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions upon a request of a qualifying applicant.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • Public hearing in House Committee on Public Safety (1/23)
      • No progress since.
  • SB 5132: An act relating to liquor enforcement officers’ powers.
    • Expands the authority of the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to enforce penal and traffic laws relating to and associated with the sale of marijuana, tobacco, and vapor products.
    • Expands the authority of the LCB to enforce penal and traffic laws relating to and associated with patron conduct in and around locations licensed by the board.
    • STATUS UPDATE:
      • 1st substitute bill substituted by Senate Committee on Law & Justice (2/16)
      • PASSED Senate on 3rd reading, Yeas 28, Nays 21. (2/28)
      • First Reading, Referred to House Committee on Public Safety (3/13)
      • Scheduled for executive session in House Committee on Public Safety (3/16)