Washington Bud Company
Smokey Point, WA
If you shout into the woods and there is no one to hear you, did you make a sound?
The cut-off date for bills to either move or die came and went this legislative season. The Cannabis Commission died in Appropriations Committee, again. Even though the commission’s research and education would be self-funded by cannabis cultivators, it needs a collection budget for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. The state collects millions and millions of dollars in taxes from our efforts yet hesitates to throw a tiny portion of it toward this accounting work.
The Craft Cannabis Endorsement bill stalled despite more supporting voices than ever before. We had seven pages of supporting positions sign into the bill which gave us much hope before it fizzled.
The legislators did advance the WSLCB proposal to regulate synthetic cannabinoids, thank goodness. There was an opposing bill to allow processors to import hemp CBD and convert it into THC isomers, and the dual hearing in the Senate was really interesting to participate in. I could see the conflict in the Senators’ faces, yet they ended up advancing the right bill, in my opinion.
We are still waiting to see if the 37% excise tax will be waived for cannabis patients and if patients will finally achieve arrest protection instead of just affirmative defense in Washington. Those have also been years-long projects we need legislation to change.
May 2022 also marks a full four years the industry in Washington has officially been pursuing mandatory pesticide testing to be paid for by the producers and processors. The state has appropriated an annual budget of more than $600,000 to the Department of Agriculture to test pesticides in cannabis since 2018. Yet the pressure to create an expensive testing scheme based upon self-selection of samples appears to be at the gate of passage. Sigh.
I loathe feeling that my efforts of cannabis advocacy have been ineffective, so I try harder and have gained some tactics over the years. Texting comrades during testimony so they address fresh opposition is fun. Preparing testimony for three-, two- and one-minute lengths, since committee chairs determine times just before hearings begin, is helpful. Addressing opposition statements directly is welcome and effective. Also, numbers count but they are not everything; the messaging needs to be coordinated or it can confuse lawmakers, and a confused mind makes no decisions. Speaking of confusion,: that is also an effective tactic to kill a bill.
Bottom line is I am never the only one shouting into the forest. I have people around me with similar messages and have realized the woods are, in fact, full of ears.