Understanding the LCB Rule Making Process

How do state agencies enforce cannabis laws passed by state legislature?

In order to enforce as well as emphasize Washington State laws passed by the legislature, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, or other state agencies, may adopt a rule through a process known as rule making. Once a rule has gone through the process and is adopted, it becomes the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).

Participating in the Rule Making Process

The Cannabis Alliance strongly urges you to get involved in rule making. The rule making process is designed for public participation and there are opportunities for you to give input at many points along the way. Keep reading to learn how and when you should jump in.

The Rule Making Process

In order for a rule to be adopted the WSLCB, as well as all other state agencies, must follow the steps described in the Administrative Procedure Act, including:

  1. Filing of the CR-101: When a law is passed or a rule is being updated, a CR-101 is filed. This notifies the public that the rule making has begun and invites them to take part in the process. The public has a minimum of 45 days to provide input in the rule making process. During this time, a proposal of the rule changes are written. REMEMBER: This is a broad request asking for any comments.  Many times people don't comment during the CR101 because it feels too broad. However, THIS is the time to offer your opinion on how you would like the rule to be written.  If you wait until the CR102, it will be an uphill battle. Comments during the CR101 can be powerful.
  2. Filing of the CR-102: The LCB files a CR-102 and shares the proposed rules with the public as a draft with items from the added (underlined) or removed (strike through). The public has a minimum of 35 days to provide written comments.
  3. Public Hearing: The LCB holds a public hearing to receive feed back on the proposed rules from the public. Anyone may still send written comments by the comment deadline if they cannot attend the hearing.
  4. Re-write or Move Forward: The LCB considers comments, and if there are no major changes, they move forward into rule adoption. If public comment leads to a substantial change in the rules, the draft is rewritten and the process goes back to Step 2.
  5. Adoption of Rules and Filing of CR-103: Once the rules are adopted, the CR-103 is filed and the rule becomes effective 31 days later, unless otherwise specified.

Other Possible Rule Making Actions

  • Emergency Rules: Sometimes a critical rule change with immediate action is required. I these cases the LCB may file an emergency rule without public notice or hearing. Emergency rules are generally effective for 120 days and may be extended in certain circumstances, but they can't become permanent unless the regular rule making steps (outlined above) are followed.

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