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Enforcement and Education
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Enforcement and Education Division is responsible for enforcing state liquor, cannabis and tobacco laws and regulations. Officers provide education to liquor, cannabis and tobacco licensed businesses, communities, and local law enforcement agencies.
Enforcement officers are limited-authority, commissioned law enforcement officers. Enforcement operations include premises visits, compliance checks, undercover operations, and complaint investigations, while educational efforts include liquor and marijuana law briefings, technical assistance visits, and "Responsible Alcohol, Cannabis and Tobacco Sales" classes.
Division headquarters is in Olympia, while captains, lieutenants, and officers are based out of offices located around the state.
The division includes:
Headquarters. Houses the chief, deputy chief, commander of Non-Retail, hearings officer, customer service unit, criminal history records coordinator, training lieutenant, program manager, management analyst and administrative support.
Retail Enforcement. Officers ensure state liquor, cannabis and tobacco laws and regulations are being followed at licensed businesses such as restaurants, grocery stores, cannabis retailers, nightclubs and taverns. Officers ensure state liquor, tobacco and cannabis laws and regulations are being followed at licensed businesses such as restaurants, grocery stores, nightclubs and taverns.
Non-Retail Enforcement. Officers enforce state liquor and cannabis laws and regulations that impact non-retail liquor and cannabis licensed businesses, including in-state and out-of-state entities that produce, import and distribute alcohol in the state. Examples includes wineries, breweries, distilleries, distributors and cannabis producers and processors.
Tobacco Tax Unit. Officers enforce the tobacco tax laws of Washington. They inspect cigarette and Other Tobacco Product retailers, wholesalers and distributors, and investigate and halt illegal acquisition and shipments of cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products by persons and businesses not licensed to sell them.
The mission of the unit is to ensure that businesses that sell tobacco in Washington State are:
• Properly licensed
• Have paid the appropriate state taxes
• Keep tobacco out of the hands of those under 18 years of age
Officers inspect cigarette and Other Tobacco Product (OTP) retailers, wholesalers and distributors, and investigate and halt illegal acquisition and shipments of cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products by persons and businesses not licensed to sell them. The unit also conducts retail/wholesale tobacco inspections leading to the identification of unpaid taxes on tobacco products.