Washington State, Scientific reviews of potential marijuana research licensees

With the loss of the Life Science Discovery Fund as the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s (WSLCB) partner in conducting the scientific reviews of potential marijuana research licensees, the law allows the LCB to partner with another third-party entity to conduct the scientific review of applicants.

In addition, the Legislature requires further project assessment criteria for the reviewer to consider. The LCB must deny the license if the scientific reviewer determines the research does not meet the limited research purposes and requirements, which include:

 Project quality, study design, value, or impact. The legislation allows for four limited research purposes:

1. Chemical potency and composition levels

2. Clinical investigations of marijuana-derived drug products

3. Efficacy and safety of administering marijuana as part of medical treatment

4. Genomic or agricultural research  Whether applicants have the appropriate personnel, expertise, facilities/infrastructure, funding, and human/animal/other federal approvals in place to successfully conduct the project;

 Whether the amount of marijuana to be grown by the applicant is consistent with the project’s scope and goals. Further provisions include:

• Marijuana research licensees may contract with the University of Washington and Washington State University to perform research in conjunction with the universities.

• Marijuana research licensees may only sell marijuana grown within its operation to other marijuana research licensees.

• Marijuana producers or processors may donate marijuana to research licensees.

• Creates a new exemption to the Public Records Act that protects proprietary financial, commercial, operations, and technical and research information and data submitted to or obtained by the LCB in applications for marijuana research licenses, or in reports submitted by the licensees.

How to apply for a marijuana research license:

The application fee of $250 and licensing fee of $1000 are paid to the LCB, and subject to annual renewal.

The new law also states that the research project applicant must pay the reviewer directly for the entire cost of the scientific review.

The WSLCB is currently engaging third-party entities to serve as a scientific reviewing body.

The application for the license will be found on the WSLCB website at: lcb.wa.gov. When the WSLCB Licensing Division receives the application:

 The application will be transmitted to the scientific reviewing body.

 The scientific reviewer shall review any reports made by marijuana research licensees under liquor and cannabis board rule and provide the liquor and cannabis board with its determination on whether the research project continues to meet research qualifications under this section.

 Based upon the scientific reviewer’s recommendation, the WSLCB may issue a marijuana research license to the applicant.

 The WSLCB Customer Service Specialist will send the applicant an approval letter.

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