The CCC 411: Meetings and legislators and policy summits, oh my!

November 15, 2020 7:07 PM | Anonymous

CCC has been working hard on your behalf to influence legislation. Executive Director Joanna Monroe, Board Chair Eric Gaston, and lobbyist T.K. Bentler have led productive conversations over the past few weeks with legislators who influence the cannabis industry – including committee members on both sides of the aisle who regulate the industry.

Monroe says she has left these meetings feeling excited and hopeful.

“My takeaway is how committed and bright our legislators are. I’m inspired by the spark of these folks really trying to do the right thing. Even though we might have disagreements on some issues, the intentions are so strong and so positive for the people of Washington state.”

The meetings centered around three key issues: preserving stability for our young industry, protecting against forced unionization, and promoting social equity.

Preserving Stability
It’s sometimes easy to forget that recreational cannabis is still new in Washington state. Although we were a pioneer of legal recreational sales, we still battle some initial worries about the effects of regulation on our industry. In meetings with legislators, CCC reminds them of the importance of stability. We encourage legislators to be mindful that any disruption to growth would negatively impact our industry and the state as a whole because of the tax revenue the cannabis industry provides to the state.

Protecting Against Forced Unionization
Just as we remind legislators that we are a young industry, we also remind them that we are small. Many of our members are “mom and pop” businesses. We support the right of our employees to unionize while opposing legislation to force unionization of the cannabis industry. Forced unionization through legislation is not only unprecedented and unfair, it threatens the livelihood of our businesses and the economic security of our employees.

“I’m thrilled by the respect legislators have shown for our industry. When I go to these meetings, I can honestly tell them that the way we have managed ourselves from a compliance and responsibility perspective is really impressive. Our legislators are truly excited about the cannabis industry,” said Monroe.

Promoting Social Equity
CCC is passionate about social equity and finding ways to ensure diverse representation in the industry, while maintaining the stability built over the last eight years. We impress upon legislators the necessity of paying attention to those who are marginalized within our industry. Monroe is particularly adamant about this issue.

“CCC wants to be part of the conversation. And while we recognize that many us don’t have the lived experiences of systematic racism, we all need to be listening, and we all need to be fighting for what’s right.”

Making Our Voices Heard
A recent Cannabis Policy Summit organized by the Washington Cannabusiness Association showed our voices are being heard.

“It was evident the legislators we’ve met with heard our message and were carrying our voices forward, and they were taking action steps to continue to protect our industry.”

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