I get many questions from clients as to when the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (“LCB”) will allow marijuana producers to activate their applications that remain on hold.
In February of 2014, the LCB issued an interim policy limiting the number of producer licenses that any single individual or legal entity to hold to one producer license. Since that time, producers, who originally applied for two or three licenses, have been waiting to reactivate these license applications.
With the issuance of additional retail licenses and the incorporation of the medical marijuana market into the I502 fold, I have been anticipating that the LCB would soon allow the applications currently on hold to be activated. But so far, no word on this.
What the LCB may be waiting to see is what the actual demand is for the production of legal medical marijuana. Currently, applicants for producer licenses are being asked to specify how much of their canopy will be dedicated to the growing of medical marijuana.
One problem, however, is that the rules do not define what constitutes “medical marijuana” in terms of its production. Thus, it is unclear what meaning this dedication of canopy to medical marijuana will have in terms of the obligations of the producer licensee and/or meeting the needs of the medical marijuana community.
There appears to be ongoing demand for the purchase of existing licenses and pending applications especially by those currently operating collective gardens, which will need to be shut down by July 1. Producers are awaiting word on this issue in order to both operate additional production facilities and/or convey these pending applications.
As soon as the LCB issues any rule or policy statement regarding the on hold producer applications, I will post it here.
For more information on the regulation of marijuana businesses, please contact Heather Wolf.