OLYMPIA — State Reps. Shelley Kloba (D-Kirkland) and Sharon Wylie (D-Vancouver) were elected last week to serve as Co-Chairs of the Washington House of Representatives Regulated Substances & Gaming Committee (formerly Commerce & Gaming) for the 2023-2024 legislative biennium.
“I am honored once again to be chosen by my colleagues to chair the Regulated Substances and Gaming Committee,” said Kloba. “I have invested considerable time and effort over the last six years to understand the variety of opinions stakeholders have on the subject matter under consideration by this committee. I’ll continue to champion research into the benefits and harms of cannabis, patient access, and evolving our cannabis regulations. Workforce development in the alcohol and cannabis industry will be an important, issue to tackle, as will implementation of the Problem Gambling Task Force recommendations. I look forward to collaboration and teamwork with Chair Wylie in this new leadership format.”
Kloba has served on the Commerce and Gaming Committee since joining the Legislature in 2016. In that time, she has been a leader on gambling policy, serving on the Problem Gambling Task Force and as an ex-officio member of the Washington State Gambling Commission. In 2019, she championed legislation that created a program allowing people who struggle with problem gambling to self-exclude themselves from gambling.
“It has been 10 years since our recreational cannabis system was created and it is time to make sure that this legitimate business is structured for fair business practices, public safety, equity and appropriate response to the illegal market,” said Wylie. “I hope my experience as a consultant and as part of the implementation team will be helpful. It is important that the necessary work of all aspects of this committee’s portfolio continue. Additionally, this policy committee will be more involved in the taxation issues and my years of work on the Finance Committee will complement the team. It will be great to have a strong team of staff and legislators to address the issues around controlled substances and gaming.”
Wylie previously served as first Vice Chair of the House Transportation Committee, as well as a member of the Commerce & Gaming and Finance Committees. She and Kloba were instrumental in developing Washington’s implementation of the recreational cannabis initiative and has consistently pushed for stronger protections against the dangers of vaping products.
The House Regulated Substances & Gaming Committee is charged with considering issues relating to the regulation and taxation of alcohol, tobacco, vapor products and cannabis, as well as product safety and access, and issues relating to the regulation and oversight of gaming, including tribal compacts.
Kloba will also continue to serve on the Capital Budget and Agriculture & Natural Resources Committees. Wylie will continue to serve on the House Finance and Transportation Committees.