Washington May Redefine What it Means to Own a Marijuana Business

On May 20, 2020, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) held a virtual listen and learn forum on Draft Conceptual Rules Regarding Marijuana Licensee True Party of Interest Rules. Cannabis Observer covered the forum and a summary is available here.

The move to change the true party of interest (TPI) rules started in October 2018 when the LCB issued a rulemaking proposal considering changes to WAC 314-55-035, which is home to the current definition of a TPI. This is a big deal because the current TPI definition broadly defines what it means to own a marijuana business and has made it very challenging to own or invest in a Washington marijuana business. This post will examine the landscape in Washington under the current definition of a TPI and what we may see in the near future under these draft rules.

The Current Status of Washington True Parties of Interest

Under WAC 314-55-035, a TPI means any of the following individuals:

True party of interest

Persons to be qualified

Sole proprietorship

Sole proprietor and spouse.

General partnership

All partners and spouses.

Limited partnership, limited liability partnership,

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