PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — State lawmakers have tasked Washington’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee with reviewing Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board data to determine if the state’s marijuana production matches customer demand. 

The study was ordered as part of the 2023 amendments made to Washington’s Social Equity in Cannabis Program, which was created to provide more opportunities in the cannabis industry for the communities adversely affected by cannabis-related laws. Study-lead Suzanna Pratt presented the proposed questions that the study will aim to answer to JLARC members at Wednesday’s regularly scheduled business meeting. 

The proposed questions outlined for the study include:

  1. How does cannabis production compare to market demand and capacity?
  2. How much canopy (cannabis square footage) is licensed and how much cannabis is produced?
  3. How much cannabis do retailers sell?
  4. What is the demand for cannabis in Washington?
  5. What is the estimated impact on the cannabis market of the 10 new producer licenses issued under the Social Equity in Cannabis Program? 
  6. What is the estimated impact on equity in the cannabis industry?
  7. What information is available about other factors that could affect the viability of and equity in the cannabis industry?

“Specifically, we are directed to review the liquor and cannabis board’s previous canopy studies,” Pratt said. “We were also directed to review if cannabis production aligns with market demand and capacity. And in doing so, estimate the impact of 10 new producer licenses that will be issued under the social equity program.”

The JLARC staff conducting the study is expected to present a preliminary review of its findings to JLARC in May of 2025. The committee’s final report is scheduled for review in July of 2025.