A remake of an existing years-old medical marijuana (MMJ) association will bring focus and unity to the Washington Cannabis Association. At two dozen members and growing, the group will retain Tammy Warnke and Ezra Eickmeyer to lobby on its behalf before the Legislature, the Washington Liquor Control Board and other agencies.
New director Chris Kealy expects the full implementation of I-502 and/or the melding of I-692 (MMJ) to take a few years. Kealy comes at the LCB regulatory challenge from the perspective of having lobbied for mini-casinos, specifically the apportionment of licenses and operating background checks. In our weekend interview he raised some new and interesting points: the transportability of licenses, the transfer or melding of MMJ growers and new recreational-use growers, and the role and legitimate function of collective gardens. If the state did not exercise sufficient control over the industry “the revenue will not be there,” Kealy warned. “The product needs to be monitored and checked. How are they going to do that?”
The new Washington Cannabis Association should be incorporated soon, and is well into development of its mission and vision. Warnke, Eickmeyer, and Johns-Brown (below) join Phil Wayt, Becky Bogard and Carrie Tellefsen in the cannabis lobby. Expect to see at least two more groups announce retention of two more familiar lobbyists as the session progresses.
Cannabis Coalition for Standards and Ethics
The folks over at Cannabis Coalition of Standards and Ethics have retained Lonnie Johns-Brown to assist in their legislative work. The patient-oriented group prefers to use citizens grassroots techniques as their liaison to legislators but do acknowledge with all that is going on and so many other groups retaining lobbyists, it will be helpful to have a pair of eyes and ears on the ground at the Capitol. Johns-Brown’s long tenure at the Capitol and her professional and personal commitment to social programs and medical issues makes her a wise choice the for Seattle patient and supplier network.