Governor Jay Inslee opened CannaCon 2018 with a speech met with cheers, whoops, and boisterous applause. Gov. Inslee ended CannaCon 2018 day one with a brief speech on the progress the cannabis industry has made in such a short time. The speech was brief, just over 10 minutes. As everyone was shuffling out of the conference room, people expressed disappointment with the lack of a Q&A, and some wanted his speech to be longer and more informative.
Gov. Jay Inslee addressed Washington entrepreneurism, cannabis traceability and Jeff Session’s failure to recognize our industries success. Gov. Inslee recognized the sacrifices Washington business owners have made during Washington’s I-502 experiment. The market has been around for about four years and there’s been trackable success. The cannabis industry has generated billions of dollars in revenue which now accounts for 2 percent of the state’s budget.
Governor Jay Inslee passionately defends Washington’s cannabis Industry
“Here’s a question I think we should ask. In just a few years, can we take a prohibited activity and turn it into a successful industry?”
Inslee applauded policies that have kept “youthful consumption” of cannabis from rising since it was legalized. These policies have also kept legal cannabis out of the black market and other states. These examples lead Inslee to question Jeff Sessions’ unwillingness to meet with himself and Washington Attorney General (AG) Bob Ferguson to discuss legal cannabis and all of its benefits. They’ll continue reaching out to Sessions and other AG’s around the country in hopes of showing them benefits a regulated cannabis industry can bring.
“I’m disappointed the Attorney General wants to blind himself from the successful information we have.”
Inslee addressed the traceability nightmares that have plagued the state since the WSLCB contracted MJ Freeway to build a new traceability system, LeafData. LeafData has been plagued with system crashes and data breaches. Inslee confirmed that LeafData was hacked since its launch on Feb. 1. The purpose of the hack was to simply crash the system and make it inoperable, which can be more troubling than someone who just wants to steal information, Inslee said. The state is currently investigating the source of the hack and Inslee mentioned malicious or bored hackers and competing vendors as potential suspects. Inslee empathized with business owners who can’t complete orders and send or receive inventory.
“Jeff Sessions isn’t a suspect for now, ” Inslee joked.
Inslee finished with a promise to remain committed to fixing Washington’s traceability system and told anyone who is still having issues to call 888-420-5813 and report any and all problems as the state tries to repair the system. He also encouraged everyone in the room to befriend their district representatives to make them aware of how important these issues are in the community.