Regulatory & Administrative
WASHINGTON STATE REGULATORY AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAWYER
Regulatory and administrative legal representation is most often required in industries regulated by the government at local, state and federal levels such as the Liquor and Cannabis Board and Department of Licensing. Since our founding we have effectively represented clients in actions initiated by:
- The Office of the Attorney General
- The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB)
- The Department of Licensing
- The Department of Revenue
- The Office of Administrative Hearings
- The Employment Security Department
CANNABIS LAW REGULATORY & ADMINISTRATIVE ATTORNEY
The landscape of Cannabis law is ever changing. As city ordinances evolve to address concerns about producer processor plants and retail locations, new matters have arisen in areas like partnership formation, transfer of licenses, and advertising. Our principal attorney spearheaded some of the first lawsuits to take place after the passing on I-502 and has extensive knowledge and experience with the issues affecting business owners in the cannabis industry.
WSLCB COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
Owning a business in the cannabis industry can be very lucrative, indeed that is why many people are willing to jump through the hoops to have one. The risk every cannabis business owner should be aware of however, is that in an instant the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board can issue expensive fines, or even suspend your license, for violations you may not even be aware you were committing. In a highly regulated industry, it is crucial to have a regulatory and administrative lawyer on retainer for unexpected encounters with the WSLCB such as:
- Unannounced premises searches
- Administrative violation notices
- Packaging and inventory inspections
- Issues with licensing related to partners
- Reporting compliance
CAN THE WSLCB INSPECT MY PROPERTY WITHOUT NOTICE?
Yes. According to the WSLCB, your premises must be available to any law enforcement officer for inspection 24 hours a day. This applies to dispensaries as well as producer and processor plants. The officers may inspect your premises for any kind of violation without warning. The WSLCB posts performed inspections and violations on their website. Some common violations reported include:
- Failure to maintain traceability
- Improper record keeping
- Failure to furnish required documents
- Violation of board-approved operating plan
- Advertising violation
- Failure to meet marijuana waste disposal requirements
- Violation of transportation requirements
- True party of interest violation
ADMINISTRATIVE VIOLATIONS AND APPEALS
An Administrative Notice of Violation (AVN) typically arrives in the mail and includes a brief description of the violation along with the assessed penalty. Penalties range from a fine to a temporary suspension or revocation of a license depending on the seriousness of the infraction and the business’ compliance history. When the WSLCB issues an administrative violation notice against a business, the owner has the right to either accept the penalty, request a settlement conference with the WSLCB, or request a hearing in front of a judge at The Office of Administrative Hearings.
Settlement conferences and administrative hearings require solid legal argument and have a specific administrative process with strict deadlines. If your cannabis business has received an Administrative Notice of Violation, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced cannabis attorney regarding your rights and options for a response. You can also take a look at the WSLCB’s informational pamphlet for more information about AVN’s and hearings.
WORK WITH AN EXPERIENCED WASHINGTON STATE REGULATORY ATTORNEY
An experienced business attorney can help you protect your personal and business assets to keep your business compliant. Call us today to learn more about what our firm can do for you.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided above is intended to be a general discussion of common business reulatory issues, and is not intended to be taken as specific legal advice that applies to your individual fact situation. Always seek legal counsel for advice on your unique case needs.