69.50.562  <<  69.50.563 >>   69.50.564

Licensed marijuana businessesCivil penaltyRules.

(1) The liquor and cannabis board may issue a civil penalty without first issuing a notice of correction if:
(a) The licensee has previously been subject to an enforcement action for the same or similar type of violation of the same statute or rule or has been given previous notice of the same or similar type of violation of the same statute or rule;
(b) Compliance is not achieved by the date established by the liquor and cannabis board in a previously issued notice of correction and if the board has responded to a request for review of the date by reaffirming the original date or establishing a new date; or
(c) 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 is alleged to be, any of the violations identified in (c)(i) through (c)(iv) of this subsection (1).
(2) The liquor and cannabis board may adopt rules to implement this section and RCW 43.05.160.

NOTES:

Findings2019 c 394: "The legislature finds that:
(1) In the years since the creation of a legal and regulated marketplace for adult use of cannabis, the industry, stakeholders, and state agencies have collaborated to develop a safe, fully regulated marketplace.
(2) As the regulated marketplace has been developing, Washington residents with a strong entrepreneurial spirit have taken great financial and personal risk to become licensed and part of this nascent industry.
(3) It should not be surprising that mistakes have been made both by licensees and regulators, and that both have learned from these mistakes leading to a stronger, safer industry.
(4) While a strong focus on enforcement is an important component of the regulated marketplace, a strong focus on compliance and education is also critically necessary to assist licensees who strive for compliance and in order to allow the board to focus its enforcement priorities on those violations that directly harm public health and safety.
(5) The risk taking entrepreneurs who are trying to comply with board regulations should not face punitive consequences for mistakes made during this initial phase of the industry that did not pose a direct threat to public health and safety." [ 2019 c 394 § 1.]
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