Officials from the offices of Gov. Jay Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board and state Department of Financial Institutions met Friday with federal officials at the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, D.C., regarding state and federal marijuana policy.
The meeting came after repeated requests by Inslee and Ferguson to meet with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and discuss Washington state’s efforts to safely implement and regulate its voter-approved recreational marijuana market, according to a press release from Inslee’s office. Washington never received a response to that request, but did receive an invitation to today’s meeting with DOJ staff.
State officials discussed numerous topics with emphasis on the state’s efforts to eliminate the illicit black market and reduce youth access to marijuana, two issues Sessions has expressed concerns about.
State officials also asked for a reaffirmation of DOJ’s enforcement priorities to not seek to disrupt the continued implementation of a safe legal marijuana system. They also reiterated their request for a personal meeting between Inslee, Ferguson and Sessions.
Inslee and Ferguson released this statement following the meeting:
“Our voters asked us to create a safe, tightly-regulated legal recreational marijuana system, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. We appreciate that our staff were given an opportunity to share our progress and the results of our efforts with USDOJ, and reiterate that we share the goal of keeping our children safe, tightly regulating this market and improving public safety.
“We look forward to continued discussions about a mutually agreeable path forward.”