Archive for WA ST Dept of Health

Hey i502! Your Genetics Are Crashing!

When i502 was first implemented years ago, licensed producers were allowed a very limited window for new licensees to obtain genetics, basically a 15 day window where the state promised to “look the other way” and allow for i502 producers to obtain their genetics, basically by any means.  Once that window closed, the only way for a licensee to obtain a new strain would be finding them from other producers.

That window is now completely closed.

So now even legislators are starting to notice. I had a meeting with one not long ago who told me they have not smoked in many years, but went and purchased some “top shelf strains”. In their own words: “I barely felt anything. This is not what pot used to be like even 3-4 years ago.”

Time to open the window. In fact, break the damn window.

I warned the WSLCB and legislators in detail, both in writing and in person, about this back in 2013 that closing access to new genetics would cause problems.  Creating a new license specific to breeding seeds and having an open window for these breeders to obtain genetics from anywhere in the world could help alleviate this problem.

By the way, homegrowers would love to help breed. Home horticulturists have contributed many new varieties of plants of all kinds throughout history. Many flowers, trees and shrubs that we see in garden nurseries were first developed by hard core gardening geeks and nerds at home.

We need access to the worldwide seed market to keep the genetics strong!

Just Say NO to ID Scanners

The biggest threat to patient and consumer privacy at the licensed cannabis shops is actually not the patient registry, but something much simpler that targets EVERYONE that comes in to the cannabis stores, not just patients.
The ID scanners the shop uses to check your driver’s license does more than check the math for your age. It actually gathers and stores all information on the card.  That way, they get both patients and adult purchasers.  And many of the stores ask for and scan your ID twice:  once at the door and again to log in your purchase.
In Washington state, fhis is not required by law, so you can refuse if they want to push it.
This shop appears to understand, but the vast majority use the scanners…
Why do these ahops need your information?  Are they selling lists of people to marketers?
That might be the best you can hope for.
It may end up being used to prevent your 2nd amendment rights.
Worset case scenario:  There has been a cottage industry for paid police informant rings for years now, who get up to $5000 for every tip leading to a marijuana forfeiture and they get to remain anonymous!  This describes the one for Washington State…
So don’t forget…
Just say NO to ID scanners at the shops!

Department of Health Confirms it, No Privacy for Patients In State Registry

From: Weeks, Kristi (DOH) <Kristi.Weeks@DOH.WA.GOV>
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 2:43 PM
To: John Novak
Subject: RE: Questions

The traceability system (under the authority of the LCB) lists the purchases and patient identification number. The database (under the authority of the Department of Health) lists the patient information including the patient identification number. The LCB cannot access the database. DOH could receive information from the LCB’s traceability system, and DOH employees with access to the database could connect the two dots. However, we have no reason to do so because an individual patient’s purchasing habits are of no interest to us.

From: John Novak []
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 12:22 PM
To: Weeks, Kristi (DOH)
Subject: RE: Questions

Thanks for the quick reply.

One follow up revised question: Can the State determine which products an individual patient has purchased?

“Can you determine which products a patient has purchased? Can I personally? No, I cannot tell what an individual patient has purchased.”


——– Original message ——–
From: “Weeks, Kristi (DOH)” <Kristi.Weeks@DOH.WA.GOV>
Date: 8/10/2016 8:58 AM (GMT-08:00)
To: John Novak <>
Subject: RE: Questions

See below.

From: John Novak []
Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2016 11:49 AM
To: Weeks, Kristi (DOH)
Subject: Questions

Ms. Weeks,

If you have a few moments, I have some questions and hope you can provide some clarity. Still a lot of confusion out there.

Do you have a way to track each patient’s purchases? When a patient with a recognition card makes a purchase, the identification number on the card (but no other patient information) is entered into the traceability system in order to audit purchases that are made without sales tax. In other words, for the store to later prove (if requested by the Department of Revenue) that the sale was appropriately sales tax free.

Which information about the transaction does the system provide about the patients’s purchases? The items purchased and the patient’s recognition card number.

Can you determine which products a patient has purchased? Can I personally? No, I cannot tell what an individual patient has purchased.

Are patients in the registry able to get a sales tax discount on all products in any i502 shop, or just the endorsed shops? Just endorsed shops although some stores without an operational endorsement are offering patients a 10% discount in lieu of the sales tax relief.

If just the endorsed shops, then is that only on “medical” products, or any product in the shop? Any product in the shop.

Thank you again for your time. It is most appreciated.

-John Novak


Patient Database Screw up Accidently Exposes Information

Not even a week into the new rules for medical cannabis after the July 1, 2016 deadline, the WSLCB and Department of Health in Washington state revealed that trained medical consultants were entering private information into the database that was not supposed to be there.  The state is not capable of keeping your information private!Washington_State_seal_web_ready_color_for_educational_use_only


The following message was posted to their listserv:


——– Original message ——–
From: “No Reply (LCB)” <NoReply@LCB.WA.GOV>
Date: 7/6/2016 9:27 AM (GMT-08:00)
Subject: Medical Marijuana Sales Data Collection and Verification


It has come to the attention of both the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) and the Department of Health (DOH) that some third party commercial traceability software systems are requesting patient information such as: conditions, history, and notes. Licensees are prohibited by law and rule from soliciting or retaining patient information in third party commercial software systems. Certified consultants are the only persons who should be seeing the information on the authorization forms to enter them into the database. All other retail employees are only to verify the recognition card by using the publicly available information on the recognition cards itself and by verifying the card number in the DOH medical marijuana authorization database (for a sale), which does not include the patients’ medical condition or any other information not printed on the recognition card.


Medical Marijuana Registration Database:

Under RCW 69.51A.230, the DOH database is the only authorized database for medical marijuana patients and designated providers, and was established as a secure and confidential database for the purposes of medical marijuana sales at licensed retailers holding a medical endorsement. A second database defeats the confidentiality and security of DOH’s database. DOH’s database is the only database authorized for verifications, including information to Dept. of Revenue for identification of tax exempt transactions (by recognition card ID#).


Under RCW 69.51A.240(1)(a) and (b), placing patient information into a different database means that persons involved are at risk of being charged with a Class C felony because they are disclosing information received from the DOH database. No one should have access to, or request, the information about the patient’s medical condition except for certified consultants entering the patient or providers name directly in to the DOH authorization database.


Traceability System vs. Third Party Systems:

The WSLCB Traceability system developed by BioTrackTHC and located at is the required reporting system identified in WAC 314-55-083(4). Licensees may use third party commercial software systems to satisfy reporting requirements in rule as described at our website: BioTrackTHC’s software is utilized by the WSLCB to track marijuana through the supply chain. Washington State licensed marijuana producers, processors, and retailers are free to employ their own inventory tracking software solutions as long as it allows for the collection and submission of the specific information and reports required by the WSLCB’s seed-to-sale inventory tracking rules for Licensees. Licensees are required to submit specific information and reports to the WSLCB.


Traceability System Verification for Medical Sales:

The WSLCB Traceability system requires the recognition card number for the patient or designated provider seeking to purchase a WAC 246-70 compliant product, or receive sales and use tax exemptions for the purchase of any marijuana product.


The WSLCB Traceability System does not:


·         Connect to the medical marijuana data base in any way

·         Verify any information with the medical marijuana data base

·         Cross reference the recognition card number with any data base

·         Require or allow the transferal of any information besides the recognition card number to complete a sales/use tax exempt sale


The WSLCB Traceability system only records the price, quantity, recognition card number, and whether the item was a WAC 246-70 compliant product.


For more information, please contact Marijuana Examiner Program at 360-664-1614 or





WSLCB Accidentally Leaks Confidential Information of I-502/SB 5052 Applicants

By John Novak
The email thread below shows you the timeline of a massive data leak to me, by accident, on a public records request revealing I-502/5052 applicants’ personal identifying information, including social security numbers, among other things.
The link provided by the public records officer will take you to the official account for the WSLCB so you can verify authenticity for yourself until the link expires at the end of June.
All files have now been properly redacted by the agency and are now available through the 420leaks database account at this link:
How many times in the last few years has this happened now?  Too many.  It was only last February when we learned that more than 91,000 patients in Washington State had their personal identification information and private health information compromised.
The public records laws in this state are vital to citizen oversight and participation in the process, helping to keep us informed and help show where we need improvements.  More money needs to be spent on upgrading public records departments.
This is the price we pay for large state agencies that keep mountains of data watched over by an underfunded and understaffed public records department.
Patients around the state have already faced uncomfortable situations as a result of this new standardized form, especially those with HIV. How can we turn over these patients in good conscience to I-502 shops with these serious privacy issues caused by legislative and bureaucratic indifference to patient needs?
By their own actions, these two agencies have proven to be deaf, dumb and blind to patient input.  They have instead fostered a culture of contempt, ineptitude and in some cases, outright corruption of the process.
This was clearly shown by the nearly $200,000 settlement paid out by the LCB to Arthur West after his hard work and effort revealing to the court evidence of 17 illegal secret meetings with law enforcement and other groups.
Recently, John Worthington filed a complaint against the WSLCB challenging the entire I-502 rule making process due to their tampering with the rule making file.  The LCB Board dismissed his claims outright, but a Thurston County Superior Court judge recently ruled in Worthington’s favor, calling their actions to be “arbitrary and capricious” and remanded it back to the LCB for another hearing.
Also, Douglas Hiatt filed a federal lawsuit last week in Federal court with an injunction to stop 5052.  The case will get its first hearing later this month.  One of the Plaintiffs on this case is the well known cannabis specialist, Dr. Gregory Carter, MD.
Dr. Carter wrote a letter to the legislators warning them of the harms of SB 5052.  View that document here:
Why are we doing this to patients in a state that sells it to anyone 21 and older with an ID?

It’s more than obvious that the state must start investing funds into training, implementation and oversight of their public records departments.  More public records officers, better training and upgraded systems with double triple checking on privacy concerns with personal and confidential information must be prioritized. State employees and the public deserve better.


Patients, health care providers, designated providers, their families and the ever increasing support base, most of which are registered voters and taxpayers, will be watching how the state handles it all.


——– Original message ——–
From: “Norton, Melissa K (LCB)” <>
Date: 6/3/2016 2:41 PM (GMT-08:00)
Subject: WSLCB PRR 16-02-174 correct 1st Installment

Dear Mr. Novak:

Thank you for your email.

You wrote the following: “I would like to have an official request from the WSLCB for deletion of these files that includes an explanation of what caused this request, both in writing for my records, please.”

The reason that we requested you to delete the files provided to you as your first installment of records was due to privacy concerns regarding the records that were provided. Within the “1st Installment” folder, there was a “redact” folder which contained 98 emails, many of which contained sensitive tax and financial information. It is our belief that in error the “redact” folder was included in the folder that was uploaded to Thank you again for working with us to ensure that these records were removed so that we could apply appropriate redactions.

We have completed the redactions on those particular emails. Here is a new link to the entirety of the first installment:

These records will be available for you to download for the next 30 days. Codes appear within the redactions on the records, and the basis for these exemptions is briefly explained as follows:



Brief Explanatory Description

Statutory Basis


Financial Account Numbers Liquor and Marijuana License Application

Financial Information, including but not limited to account numbers and values, on liquor license and marijuana applications are exempt from disclosure

RCW 42.56.230(5) and RCW 42.56.270 (10) (a)


Driver’s License Numbers

(5) Credit card numbers, debit card numbers, electronic check numbers, card expiration dates, or bank or other financial information as defined in RCW 9.35.005 including social security numbers, except when disclosure is expressly required by or governed by other law

RCW 42.56.230(5)


Social Security Number

Social Security Numbers are exempt from disclosure.

RCW 42.56.510 and 42 USC Section 405(c) (2) (C) (viii) (1)


Tax Information

Tax information, such as Federal Tax ID Number, or other tax documents are exempt from public disclosure.

RCW 82.32.330, RCW 42.56.230(5), and 26 U.S.C. 6103.

Attorney-Client Privilege

Attorney-Client Privilege

An attorney or counselor shall not, without the consent of his or her client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to him or her, or his or her advice given thereon in the course of professional employment.

RCW 5.60.060(2)(a)

We also wanted to communicate with you to let you know that Mr. Aguayo is no longer with the agency and Kelly McDermott from our office will be taking over this request.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you.


Missy Norton
Records Manager
Office – 360-664-1693/Fax – 360-664-9689

From: John Novak []
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2016 1:33 PM
To: Norton, Melissa K (LCB) <>
Subject: RE: WSLCB PRR 16-02-174 1st Installment
Ms. Norton,

I would like to have an official request from the WSLCB for deletion of these files that includes an explanation of what caused this request, both in writing for my records, please.


——– Original message ——–
From: “Norton, Melissa K (LCB)” <>
Date: 6/2/2016 5:16 PM (GMT-08:00)
Subject: RE: WSLCB PRR 16-02-174 1st Installment
Dear John,Thank you for your understanding.  We are having trouble with uploading the correct first installment of records to Box.  We will provide those records to you tomorrow June 3, 2016.Thank you again,Missy Norton
Records Manager
Office – 360-664-1693/Fax – 360-664-9689