Members and Allies,
Yesterday, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) voted to remove the requirement of placing a harvest date, manufactured date, or best by date on cannabis packaging in the upcoming CR102. Although there was agreement among the participants of the Packaging and Labeling Advisory Group, the effort was torpedoed by the Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA) after the workgroup's recommendations were made. WACA lobbied the Board privately to leave the harvest date as it was clearly a benefit to their membership. The ways in which WACA lobbied against harvest date removal brings into question the influence WACA seems to hold over the LCB staff and Board, although recent exchanges seem to indicate that the Board was not happy with WACA asking to speak personally with each member in order to keep issues out of the public domain. The WSIA’s persistent attention to this issue, even after many groups had given up on it, is the reason that we were ultimately successful. Harvest date has been detrimental to Sungrowers and indoor growers who cure their product for longer times, and has created many unintended consequences in the marketplace, such as a consumer preference for uncured, indoor grown, and perpetuating the fallacy that “fresh” cannabis is best.
This decision was a reasonable solution presented by a variety of organizations which will support a sustainable cannabis industry in Washington. We want to express our gratitude to all of those that supported these efforts as we work toward an industry that is inclusive of sungrown cannabis production.
WSIA President and Founder, Jeremy Moberg, was instrumental in getting the governor’s office to lean on the LCB to remove harvest date. He said this about the decision, “The removal of harvest date as a packaging labeling requirement will help lessen the consumer bias for fresh weed and will create a cannabis culture that places a high value on the curing process for producing a quality smoking experience. Not requiring harvest date on the packaging will have the added value of reducing market stigmas against sustainably grown cannabis giving the consumer the ability to choose high quality, cured, sustainably grown cannabis while making for a more sustainable cannabis industry.”
We will continue to keep you updated as this decision’s public hearing period will open in March, and we will let you know how you can support future efforts!