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December 1 brings new Washington State Cannabis rules. Are you ready?

Are you ready for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board rule changes going into effect later this week? There are a number of rule refinements coming into effect on December 1st as a result of legislative action in 2017 and 2018. It is important to understand how these changes could affect your operation.  (Recently Adopted WSCLB Rules)

Many of the changes were made by the WSLCB to create consistency with new laws passed by the legislature or to make temporary rules or policies permanent. Examples include language that was added or altered to reflect research licenses, WSDA approval of edibles, tribal agreements, elimination of quarantine for deliveries and destruction, and new packaging rules.

In some cases, however, there are significant clarifications or additional regulations in the updated WAC. You should be aware of how these changes can impact your cannabis business. For example, all records are now required to be kept for five years instead of the current three-years. This applies to financial records, pesticide application logs, and any other business records.

Another important change is WAC 314-55-096(1(a)) “Vendor samples may only be given to and used by licensees or employees of licensees who have product ordering authority or employees who provide input on product to licensees or employees of licensees who have purchasing authority to inform purchasing decisions as detailed in a written business policy.” How this policy will be enforced in unclear, but it is important to understand that under this new passage you can be fined based on which employees receive vendor samples.

Other important changes:

  • Processing service arrangements are now allowed under WAC 314-55-077(11) and guidance is provided for transactions.
  • Producers must provide testing results and correct labeling for all purchased product including sales to processors. WAC 314-55-075 (11)
  • New language specifically prohibits employees from conducting a transaction that facilitates an individual obtaining more than their daily limit. No second transactions for customers that hit their personal max. WAC 314-55-095 (E(ii))
  • Budtender samples are limited to 100 per month. No one employee should receive more than 10 budtenders samples in one month. WAC 314-55-096 (2(a))

The other new rules going into effect on December 1st cover testing CBD imported into the Washington licensed market WAC 314-55-109. A bill passed in 2018 allows the importation of CBD from sources outside the I502 marketplace. This is the first time that cannabis products grown in other places like Colorado and Oregon, and derived from hemp, will be allowed as an ingredient in Washington State products. In order to be imported by I502 licensees testing must show that the product has less than .03% THC and be fee of pesticides, heavy metals, microbiological contamination, mycotoxin contamination, and residual solvents. Now that the rules are going into effect businesses can source product to be tested under the new guidelines.

These rule changes come right on the heels of increased action on edibles, new warning about enforcement actions for supporting materials in retails stores, and several companies being flagged for issues with inappropriate pesticides or levels. Get help keeping up with all thing’s compliance and safety in Washington State cannabis at Think Happy Consulting. Protect your employees and your business with solid standard operating procedures, safety plans and trainings.

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