CCC’s mission to ensure common-sense regulation garnered an article in Marijuana Venture last month. The article, “A Force for Stability” explains some of the challenges we face in this industry and features CCC’s new executive director, Joanna Monroe.
Several members – Daniela Bernhard, , Eric Gaston and TJ Werth – helped paint the picture of the uphill battle we’ve faced since the beginning, including forced unionization, inspectors with too much control, and revision of oversight and processes set up in the industry’s infancy.
Please read and share the article with others who could benefit from a deeper understanding of CCC’s mission: https://www.marijuanaventure.com/a-force-for-stability/.
Marijuana Ventures is offering free subscriptions to up to 500 CCC members and affiliates. Use the code MJVTrade2020 to subscribe.
Thank you to the members who were able to attend our first political fundraiser last week. We had the opportunity to connect with Gov. Jay Inslee and raised $13,000 for his campaign – both of which I consider an absolute success.
Hosting this event enabled us to share industry insight directly with the governor, who listened and expressed support for many of the issues we raised.
“Our Washington state cannabis industry has set the standard nationally. This industry is critical to our state, generating hundreds of millions in tax revenues a year that fund critical programs across Washington. As we continue forward, I am committed to creating an equitable, fair, and robust cannabis industry here in Washington state,” Jay said.
It is important for us to continue establishing relationships with key policymakers to ensure our perspective is heard and understood. When we advocate for issues that affect our industry, we are recognized as credible experts.
Molly Honig, who owns Higher Leaf, attended the event and had great things to say:
“Governor Inslee is a great advocate for the cannabis industry. The cannabis legalization experiment in Washington State has been a huge success. The industry has raised over a billion of dollars in tax revenue for schools and other state services, and has given people safe access to cannabis products, which has improved many peoples' quality of life. The things the critics were concerned about with legalization, have not come to pass. Our state system has also been able to avoid many of the pitfalls other states have faced. Governor Inslee's support has been a huge factor in the success of the cannabis industry and I am confident that with his continued leadership, the industry will continue to thrive,” Molly said.
Our next CCC event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 16 – it’s our annual meeting and legislative outlook. I strongly encourage our members to attend and participate. The discussion will shape our priorities for the upcoming legislative session, and your input is important. Register here.
Craft Cannabis Coalition Legislative Priorities
The Craft Cannabis Coalition (CCC) strongly supports employment practices that provide for living wages and benefits and support safe and respectful workplaces. Last session, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) introduced SB6393, designed to force unionization of the Washington State cannabis industry, by inserting Labor into the licensing approval process. We actively oppose any legislation that threatens the viability of our businesses and puts at risk the economic security of our employees. We reject the coercive tactic of tying a third-party regulatory points system to the renewal of our hard-won licenses.
CCC strongly supports meaningful industry representation from minority communities disproportionately harmed by prohibition and the War on Drugs and believe that promoting diversity and reducing harm should be a priority within the Washington State cannabis industry. We feel these efforts must be substantive and avoid harming current licensees, who face significant financial challenges. To us, this means no increase in license counts or canopy square footage. We believe social equity efforts are best served by focusing on community empowerment, grants, and technical support. We would like to leverage our industry experience and regulatory insight to help support the long-term efficacy and success of social equity endeavors.
We are adamantly opposed to direct sales or delivery services. We remain opposed to vertical integration of producer/processors and retail operations. Vertical integration initiates consolidation of a few dominant entities at the expense of many smaller businesses; this does not align with the craft nature of Washington State cannabis and the mission of our Coalition.
We generally support the allowance of regular business practices for 502 businesses, including, but not limited to, contracts, price differentiation, and co-branding; practices currently allowed in alcohol but prohibited in cannabis.
In the interest of preserving the value of licenses and promoting stability in an industry that continues to struggle with a surplus of licenses, we propose that licenses being held speculatively with no active contributions to our industry, be required to operationalize or be forfeited. Our goal is to put the decision to increase 502 licenses in the hands of legislators (under the legislative process), rather than the LCB. Any 502 licenses issued, other than those required to address population growth, should come from the existing pool of licenses which have been forfeited or otherwise not activated. In addition to no licensing of new canopy square footage, we support a requirement that licenses issued to address social equity are pulled from the existing pool of unused licenses, rather than the creation of new licenses. Lastly, we believe that if a licensee fails to meet a minimum number of sales in a given time period, their license should be revoked.
Fundamentally, the CCC is not opposed to out of state ownership. However, we would push for a set of guardrails around this issue that would ensure no new licenses were created, no new canopy was created, and vertical integration is still disallowed.
The Craft Cannabis Coalition, a community of industry licensed producers, processors, and retailers that work together to promote and protect the unique craft nature of legal cannabis in Washington state, has hired Joanna Monroe as its executive director. Monroe will lead the organization’s advocacy for common sense policy to safeguard the industry against changes that may threaten the viability of the cannabis market in Washington State.
“Since the passage of I-502 in 2012, Washington cannabis businesses have struggled to persevere because, unlike other industries, they face unique but enormous obstacles to success. By and large our regulations have fostered an environment that has discouraged consolidation and dominance by just a few large companies,” Monroe said. “As executive director of the Craft Cannabis Coalition, my number one goal is to maintain an environment where many small producers and processors can thrive, by educating stakeholders about the positive impact we make and the need to pass laws to strengthen, not damage our industry.”
Monroe, a licensed attorney, previously served as an executive at True Blue – an international temporary staffing agency – where she ran the company’s government relations function for 20 years. For the last year, Monroe served as an executive with Evergreen Market, a five-store cannabis retailer, and is an investor in Viridian Staffing which provides talent exclusively to the cannabis industry.
Monroe became involved in the industry after learning about the many challenges cannabis businesses face.
“Throughout my career, I have seen policymakers push legislation that, although well intended, results in unintended consequences that harm the very industry and people they are seeking to protect,” she said.
In 2019, the cannabis industry contributed over $400 million in tax revenue and employed thousands of people in Washington.
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©2020 Craft Cannabis Coalition
Craft Cannabis Coalition is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.
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