Rulemaking Overview

Overview of What We Do

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board adopts rules according to the powers and duties granted to us by the Washington State Legislature. The three-member Board, appointed by the Governor, is charged to promote public safety and trust through the fair administration and enforcement of liquor, cannabis, tobacco, and vapor laws. We have the authority to develop a wide range of rules related to this mission. Our rules impact licensees, the public, and stakeholders, including businesses like grocery stores, restaurants, bars, and cannabis retail outlets, as well as breweries, wineries, distilleries, and cannabis producers and processors, just to name a few. Our licensing division and enforcement and education division implement and enforce our rules.

How do we decide to begin rulemaking?

We may decide to start rulemaking based on changes in federal or state law, when we learn of changes in technology or the environment, or when we receive requests from our partners or the public. The rulemaking process is used to create, change, or delete a rule. It must follow specific laws.

What governs our rulemaking?

The Washington State Legislature grants us the authority to adopt rules, and the process for adopting rules is governed by the following state laws:

  • The Administrative Procedure Act (chapter 34.05 RCW) requires us to engage the public in rule development and outlines the process we must follow.
  • The Regulatory Fairness Act (chapter 19.85 RCW) requires us to consider the impact of our rules on small businesses.

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