LCB files interpretive statement regarding enforcement of cannabis plant canopy

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April 7, 2023

LCB files interpretive statement regarding enforcement of cannabis plant canopy

In Nov. 2021, LCB communicated the Enforcement and Education Division’s protocol related to cannabis canopy enforcement. The protocol was designed to ensure consistent application of cannabis canopy rules described in WAC 314-55-075.

In Aug. 2022, based on stakeholder concern about the protocol, LCB paused canopy enforcement prioritization, and opened rulemaking to explore whether revisions to WAC 314-55-075 were needed. To better understand stakeholder perspectives and inform potential rule development, the agency hosted two inclusive and interactive engagement opportunities in Oct. and Nov. 2022.

During the sessions, licensees, industry representatives, and members of the public gathered to share thinking around potential rule revisions. Themes emerged that included policy options exceeding the scope of rulemaking, such as deconstruction of the tier system and engaging in individual plant counts, to a weight-based system. However, most participants were interested in consistent application of WAC 314-55-075 in practice rather than rule revision. As a result, the rulemaking was withdrawn on Mar. 15, 2023 as WSR 23-07-085.

To support regulatory stability, LCB Enforcement and Education Division and Director’s Office have filed an interpretive statement as WSR 23-09-010 designed to support consistent application of WAC 314-55-075 and LCB Enforcement and Education Division’s cannabis canopy protocol. Prioritization of canopy rule enforcement will resume at that time.

The Enforcement and Education Division’s Education Program will resume an educational emphasis on plant canopy this spring, including on-site visits and distribution of a plant canopy educational material. Please reach out to your local Compliance Consultant with any questions regarding plant canopy requirements.