In Part 1 of this two-part series we discussed the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s (“LCB”) new rules stemming from SB 5318, which passed last year and forced the LCB to transition from an enforcement-first policy to a compliance-first policy when handling violations. We covered how the LCB will handle Notices of Correction (“NOC”) and Administrative Violation Notice (“AVN”). Today we’ll look at the LCB’s revamped structure for penalties.
The new section at issue is WAC 314-55-509 (“Penalty Structure”). This replaces WAC 314-55-515, the previous penalties section, and establishes the categories outlined below. I’ll summarize each category and offer some analysis as needed.
Category I. Violations of a severity that would make a license eligible for cancellation on the first offence.
These violations include purchasing or selling marijuana outside of the licensed marketplace, failing to follow a suspension restriction while a license is suspended, transporting or storing marijuana to or from an unlicensed source, diverting products outside of Washington, allowing a person to become a true party of interest (“TPI”) or receiving funds from a person who would not qualify to hold a marijuana based on affiliation with criminal enterprises or criminal history. These violations are all pretty straightforward.