69.50.561  <<  69.50.562 >>   69.50.563

Licensed marijuana businessesWritten warningsWaiver of sanctions with no relationship to public safetyCompliance programPenaltiesRules.

(1) The board must prescribe procedures for the following:
(a) Issuance of written warnings or notices to correct in lieu of penalties, sanctions, or other violations with respect to regulatory violations that have no direct or immediate relationship to public safety as defined by the board;
(b) Waiving any fines, civil penalties, or administrative sanctions for violations, that have no direct or immediate relationship to public safety, and are corrected by the licensee within a reasonable amount of time as designated by the board; and
(c) A compliance program in accordance with chapter 43.05 RCW and RCW 69.50.342, whereby licensees may request compliance assistance and inspections without issuance of a penalty, sanction, or other violation provided that any noncompliant issues are resolved within a specified period of time.
(2) The board must adopt rules prescribing penalties for violations of this chapter. The board:
(a) May establish escalating penalties for violation of this chapter, provided that the cumulative effect of any such escalating penalties cannot last beyond two years and the escalation applies only to multiple violations that are the same or similar in nature;
(b) May not include cancellation of a license for a single violation, unless the board can prove by a preponderance of the evidence:
(i) Diversion of marijuana product to the illicit market or sales across state lines;
(ii) Furnishing of marijuana product to minors;
(iii) Diversion of revenue to criminal enterprises, gangs, cartels, or parties not qualified to hold a marijuana license based on criminal history requirements;
(iv) The commission of nonmarijuana-related crimes; or
(v) Knowingly making a misrepresentation of fact to the board, an officer of the board, or an employee of the board related to conduct or an action that is, or alleged to be, any of the violations identified in (b)(i) through (b)(iv) of this subsection (2);
(c) May include cancellation of a license for cumulative violations only if a marijuana licensee commits at least four violations within a two-year period of time;
(d) Must consider aggravating and mitigating circumstances and deviate from the prescribed penalties accordingly, and must authorize enforcement officers to do the same, provided that such penalty may not exceed the maximum escalating penalty prescribed by the board for that violation; and
(e) Must give substantial consideration to mitigating any penalty imposed on a licensee when there is employee misconduct that led to the violation and the licensee:
(i) Established a compliance program designed to prevent the violation;
(ii) Performed meaningful training with employees designed to prevent the violation; and
(iii) Had not enabled or ignored the violation or other similar violations in the past.
(3) The board may not consider any violation that occurred more than two years prior as grounds for denial, suspension, revocation, cancellation, or nonrenewal, unless the board can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the prior administrative violation evidences:
(a) Diversion of marijuana product to the illicit market or sales across state lines;
(b) Furnishing of marijuana product to minors;
(c) Diversion of revenue to criminal enterprises, gangs, cartels, or parties not qualified to hold a marijuana license based on criminal history requirements;
(d) The commission of nonmarijuana-related crimes; or
(e) Knowingly making a misrepresentation of fact to the board, an officer of the board, or an employee of the board related to conduct or an action that is, or is alleged to be, any of the violations identified in (a) through (d) of this subsection (3).

NOTES:

Findings2019 c 394: See note following RCW 69.50.563.
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