LIQUOR AND CANNABIS
[Filed May 26, 2021, 11:51 a.m.]
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 21-08-035.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 314-55-077 Marijuana processor license—Privileges, requirements and fees, and 314-55-079 Marijuana retailer license—Privileges, requirements and fees. The Washington state liquor and cannabis board (board) proposes rule amendments that would allow the board to take disciplinary action against any licensed marijuana processor or retailer failing to comply with the provisions of WAC 246-80-021, concerning the sale of vitamin E acetate. No other amendments or revisions to these sections are being considered at this time.
Hearing Location(s): On July 7, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, the board will not provide a physical location for this hearing to promote social distancing and the safety of the citizens of Washington state. A virtual public hearing, without a physical meeting space, will be held instead. Board members, presenters, and staff will all participate remotely. The public may login using a computer or device, or call-in using a phone, to listen to the meeting through the WebEx application. The public may provide verbal comments during the specified public comment and rules hearing segments. For more information about board meetings, please visit https://lcb.wa.gov/Boardmeetings/Board_meetings.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than July 14, 2021.
Submit Written Comments to: Rules Coordinator, 1025 Union Avenue, Olympia, WA 98501, email email@example.com, fax 360-704-5027 by July 7, 2021.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Claris Nhanabu, ADA coordinator, human resources, phone 360-664-1642, fax 360-664-9689, TTY 711 or 1-800-833-6388, email Claris.Nhanabu@lcb.wa.gov, by July 1, 2021.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The purpose of this proposal is to make current emergency rules, most recently adopted on April 28, 2021, as WSR 21-10-044, permanent. The emergency rules reference the Washington state board of health (SBOH) prohibition of the use of vitamin E acetate by any person licensed under chapter 69.50
RCW. WAC 314-55-077 and 314-55-079 would be permanently amended to reference the permanent prohibition of vitamin E acetate as described in WAC 246-80-021.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: Consistent with RCW 69.50.342
(1)(m), the board is authorized to prohibit the use of any type of additive, solvent, ingredient, or compound in the production and processing of marijuana products, including marijuana vapor products, when the board determines, following consultation with the department of health or any other authority the board deems appropriate, that the device, additive, solvent, ingredient, or compound may pose a risk to public health or youth access. Emergency rules regarding the board's ability to take disciplinary action against any licensed marijuana processor or retailer failing to comply with prohibition of the use of vitamin E acetate have been in place since September 16, 2020, as WSR 20-19-080, by extension on January 6, 2021, as WSR 21-02-093, and finally on April 28, 2021. The proposed rule amendments are necessary to provide enforcement continuity of WAC 246-80-021 concerning the permanent prohibition of vitamin E acetate.
Statute Being Implemented: Not applicable.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: None.
Name of Proponent: Washington state liquor and cannabis board (LCB), governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Katherine Hoffman, Policy and Rules Manager, 1025 Union Avenue, Olympia, WA 98501, 360-664-1622; Implementation and Enforcement: Chandra Brady, Director of Enforcement and Education, 1025 Union Avenue, Olympia, WA 98501, 360-664-1726.
A school district fiscal impact statement is not required under RCW 28A.305.135
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328
. A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328
because the subject of the proposed rule making does not qualify as a significant legislative rule or other rule requiring a cost-benefit analysis under RCW 34.05.328
The proposed rule does not impose more-than-minor costs on businesses. Following is a summary of the agency's analysis showing how costs were calculated. Agencies are required to consider costs imposed
on business and costs associated with compliance with proposed rules. Agencies are not
required under chapter 19.85
RCW to consider indirect costs not associated with compliance. Fines, penalties, or defense costs associated with enforcement actions for failure to comply with the proposed rules are considered to be indirect costs that are not associated with compliance. Here, the agency considered potential administrative
costs that a licensee may incur for failure to comply with the proposed rules.
LCB applied the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes 453998 for marijuana stores, both medicinal and recreational, and 424590 for marijuana processors. The industry descriptions for each of these codes is presented in the table below, and can be accessed at https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2017/econ/2017-naics-manual.html.
LCB applied a default cost when analyzing whether the rules would have a disproportionate impact on small businesses as defined in RCW 19.85.020
(3). This reflects four hours of administrative time at $50 per hour, for a total of $200. The agency assumes this activity would include activities such as completing and submitting forms to LCB, and telephone calls.
2017 Industry NAICS Code
Estimated Cost of Compliance
NAICS Code Title
Minor Cost Estimate
1% of Avg Annual Payroll(Threshold)
0.3% of Avg Annual Gross Business Income (Threshold)
Marijuana stores, medicinal and recreational
All other miscellaneous store retailers (except tobacco stores)
2018 Dataset pulled from ESD
2018 Dataset pulled from DOR
Marijuana merchant wholesalers
Other farm product raw material merchant wholesalers
2018 Dataset pulled from USBLS
2018 Dataset pulled from DOR
As the table demonstrates, the estimated cost of compliance does not exceed the thresholds for either of the license types. Therefore, implementation of these rules are not anticipated to result in more-than-minor costs on businesses as defined in RCW 19.85.020
May 26, 2021
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 20-01-172, filed 12/18/19, effective 1/1/20)
WAC 314-55-077Marijuana processor license—Privileges, requirements, and fees.
(1) A marijuana processor license allows the licensee to process, dry, cure, package, and label useable marijuana, marijuana concentrates, and marijuana-infused products for sale at wholesale to marijuana processors and marijuana retailers.
(2) Application and license fees.
(a) The application fee for a marijuana processor license is two hundred fifty dollars. The applicant is also responsible for paying the fees required by the approved vendor for fingerprint evaluation.
(b) The annual fee for issuance and renewal of a marijuana processor license is one thousand three hundred eighty-one dollars. The board will conduct random criminal history checks at the time of renewal that will require the licensee to submit fingerprints for evaluation from the approved vendor. The licensee is responsible for all fees required for the criminal history checks.
(c) The application window for marijuana processor licenses is closed. The board may reopen the marijuana processor application window at subsequent times when the board deems necessary.
(3) Any entity and/or principals within any entity are limited to no more than three marijuana processor licenses.
(4)(a) A marijuana processor that makes marijuana-infused solid or liquid product meant to be ingested orally (marijuana edibles) must obtain a marijuana-infused edible endorsement from the department of agriculture as required under chapter 15.125
RCW and rules adopted by the department to implement that chapter (chapter 16-131 WAC). A licensee must allow the board or their designee to conduct physical visits and inspect the processing facility, recipes, and records required under WAC 314-55-087 during normal business hours or at any time of apparent operation without advance notice.
(b) A marijuana processor licensed by the board must ensure marijuana-infused edible processing facilities are constructed, kept, and maintained in a clean and sanitary condition in accordance with rules and as prescribed by the Washington state department of agriculture under chapter 15.125
RCW and rules promulgated to implement chapters 16-131, 16-165 and 16-167 WAC.
(5)(a) A marijuana processor may blend tested useable marijuana from multiple lots into a single package for sale to a marijuana retail licensee so long as the label requirements for each lot used in the blend are met and the percentage by weight of each lot is also included on the label.
(b) A processor may not treat or otherwise adulterate useable marijuana with any organic or nonorganic chemical or other compound whatsoever to alter the color, appearance, weight, or smell of the useable marijuana.
(6) Recipes, product, packaging, and labeling approval.
(a) A marijuana processor licensee must obtain label and packaging approval from the board for all marijuana-infused products meant for oral ingestion prior to offering these items for sale to a marijuana retailer. The marijuana processor licensee must submit a picture of the product, labeling, and packaging to the board for approval. More information on the product, packaging, and label review process is available on the board's website.
(b) All recipes for marijuana-infused products meant for oral ingestion (marijuana edible products) must be approved by the department of agriculture under chapter 16-131 WAC. Licensees must obtain recipe approval from the department of agriculture prior to submitting any marijuana edible products, packages, and labels for review and approval by the board. The recipe for any marijuana-infused solid or liquid products meant to be ingested orally must be kept on file at the marijuana processor's licensed premises and made available for inspection by the board or its designee.
(c) If the board denies a marijuana-infused product for sale in marijuana retail outlets, the marijuana processor licensee may request an administrative hearing under chapter 34.05
RCW, Administrative Procedure Act.
(7) With the exception of the marijuana, all ingredients used in making marijuana-infused products for oral ingestion must be a commercially manufactured food as defined in WAC 246-215-01115.
(8) Marijuana-infused edible products in solid or liquid form must be homogenized to ensure uniform disbursement of cannabinoids.
(9) A marijuana processor may infuse food or drinks with marijuana, provided that:
(a) The product or products do not require cooking or baking by the consumer;
(b) Coatings applied to the product or products are compliant with the requirements of this chapter;
(c) The product and package design is not similar to commercially available products marketed for consumption by persons under twenty-one years of age, as defined by WAC 314.55.105 (1)(c).
(10) To reduce the risk to public health, potentially hazardous foods as defined in WAC 246-215-01115 may not be infused with marijuana. Potentially hazardous foods require time-temperature control to keep them safe for human consumption and prevent the growth of pathogenic microorganisms or the production of toxins. Any food that requires refrigeration, freezing, or a hot holding unit to keep it safe for human consumption may not be infused with marijuana.
(11) Other food items that may not be infused with marijuana to be sold in a retail store include:
(a) Any food that has to be acidified to make it shelf stable;
(b) Food items made shelf stable by canning or retorting;
(c) Fruit or vegetable juices (this does not include shelf stable concentrates);
(d) Fruit or vegetable butters;
(e) Pumpkin pies, custard pies, or any pies that contain egg;
(f) Dairy products of any kind such as butter, cheese, ice cream, or milk; and
(g) Dried or cured meats.
(h) Vinegars and oils derived from natural sources may be infused with dried marijuana if all plant material is subsequently removed from the final product. Vinegars and oils may not be infused with any other substance, including herbs and garlic.
(i) Marijuana-infused jams and jellies made from scratch must utilize a standardized recipe in accordance with 21 C.F.R. Part 150, revised as of April 1, 2013.
(12) Consistent with WAC 314-55-104, a marijuana processor may infuse dairy butter or fats derived from natural sources, and use that extraction to prepare allowable marijuana-infused solid or liquid products meant to be ingested orally, but the dairy butter or fats derived from natural sources may not be sold as stand-alone products.
The board may designate other food items that may not be infused with marijuana.
(13) Marijuana processor licensees are allowed to have a maximum of six months of their average useable marijuana and six months average of their total production on their licensed premises at any time.
(14) Processing service arrangements. A processing service arrangement is when one processor (processor B) processes useable marijuana or an altered form of useable marijuana (marijuana product) for another licensed processor (processor A) for a fee.
(a) Processor A is the product owner. However, processor B may handle the product under its license as provided in chapter 69.50
RCW and this chapter. Processor B is not allowed to transfer the product to a retailer and may only possess marijuana or marijuana products received from processor A for the limited purposes of processing it for ultimate transfer back to processor A.
(b) Processing service arrangements must be made on a cash basis only as provided in WAC 314-55-115 and payment for the service and return of the processed product must be made within thirty calendar days of delivery to processor B. Failure to do so as provided by the preceding sentence is a violation of this section and any marijuana or marijuana product involved in the transaction will be subject to seizure and destruction. Payment with any marijuana products, barter, trade, or compensation in any form other than cash for processing service arrangements is prohibited under processing service arrangements.
(c) Each processor that enters into a processing service arrangement must include records for each service arrangement in recordkeeping documents which must be maintained consistent with this chapter.
(15) Marijuana may not be returned by any retail licensee to any processor except as provided in this section.
(a) Every processor must maintain on the licensed premises for a period of five years complete records of all refunds and exchanges made under this section including an inventory of marijuana and marijuana products returned to the processor by any retail licensee.
(b) Marijuana may be returned by a retail licensee in the event a retailer goes out of the business of selling marijuana at retail and a cash refund, as defined by WAC 314-55-115, may be made upon the return of the marijuana or marijuana products, so long as WSLCB approval is acquired prior to returns and refunds under this subsection.
(c) Marijuana products different from that ordered by a retailer and delivered to the retailer may be returned to a processor and either replaced with marijuana products which were ordered or a cash refund, as defined by WAC 314-55-115, may be made. These incorrect orders must be discovered and corrected within eight days of the date the delivery was made to be eligible for returns and refunds under this subsection.
(d) A marijuana processor may accept returns of products and sample jars from marijuana retailers for destruction, but is not required to provide refunds to the retailer. It is the responsibility of the retailer to ensure the product or sample jar is returned to the processor.
(16) The board may take disciplinary action against any marijuana processor that fails to comply with the provisions of WAC 246-80-021.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 18-22-055, filed 10/31/18, effective 12/1/18)
WAC 314-55-079Marijuana retailer license—Privileges, requirements, and fees.
(1) A marijuana retailer license allows the licensee to sell only useable marijuana, marijuana concentrates, marijuana-infused products, marijuana paraphernalia, and lockable boxes to store marijuana at retail in licensed retail outlets to persons twenty-one years of age and older, except as allowed for persons under twenty-one years of age consistent with RCW 69.50.357
and WAC 314-55-080.
(2) The WSLCB may accept applications for marijuana retail licenses at time frames published on its website at www.lcb.wa.gov. Using estimated consumption data and population data obtained from the office of financial management (OFM) population data, the WSLCB will determine the maximum number of marijuana retail locations per county.
(a) The number of retail locations will be determined using a method that distributes the number of locations proportionate to the most populous cities within each county and to accommodate the medical needs of qualifying patients and designated providers. Locations not assigned to a specific city will be at large. At large locations can be used for unincorporated areas in the county or in cities within the county that have no retail licenses designated.
(b) The number of retail licenses determined by the board can be found on the WSLCB website at www.lcb.wa.gov.
(3) Any entity and/or principals within any entity are limited to no more than five retail marijuana licenses.
(4) Application and license fees.
(a) The application fee for a marijuana retailer's license is two hundred fifty dollars. The applicant is responsible for fees required by the approved vendor for fingerprint evaluation.
(b) The annual fee for issuance and renewal of a marijuana retailer license is one thousand three hundred eighty-one dollars. The WSLCB will conduct random criminal history checks at the time of renewal that will require the licensee to submit fingerprints for evaluation from the approved vendor. The licensee is responsible for all fees required for the criminal history checks.
(5) Internet sales and delivery of product to customers are prohibited.
(6) Sales of marijuana-infused products not permissible under WAC 314-55-077 are prohibited.
(7) Marijuana retailers may not sell marijuana products below the current acquisition cost.
(8) All marijuana products must be stored behind a counter or other barrier to ensure a customer does not have direct access to the product.
(9) A marijuana retailer may not sell lockable boxes for less than the cost of acquisition or sell boxes received as a donation. The donation of lockable boxes must come from a person or entity that is not a licensed marijuana producer, processor, or retailer.
(10) Marijuana retailer licensees are allowed to have a maximum of four months of their average inventory on their licensed premises at any given time.
(11) A marijuana retailer may transport product to other locations operated by the licensee or to return product to a marijuana processor as outlined in WAC 314-55-085.
(12) A marijuana retailer may accept returns of open marijuana products. Products must be returned in their original packaging with the lot, batch, or inventory ID number fully legible.
(13) A marijuana retailer may dispose of marijuana products as provided in WAC 314-55-097.
(14) The board may take disciplinary action against any marijuana retailer that fails to comply with the provisions of WAC 246-80-021.