Rick Garza to Serve as Agency Director for State Liquor Control - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Rick Garza to Serve as Agency Director for State Liquor Control Board

Posted: Updated:

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Rick Garza will serve as the next agency director for the Washington State Liquor Control Board to lead the board's day-to-day operations.

Garza replaces current director Pat Kohler, who Washington Governor Jay Inslee appointed to lead the state Department of Licensing.

Garza currently serves as the WSLCB deputy director, where he leads the agency's policy, legislation and media relations. He also serves as its legislative and tribal liaison, and has been with the board since 1997.

"I have known Rick for many years and I'm thrilled the board selected him to lead the agency," said Inslee. "He is a creative leader and a team player and I have full confidence in his ability to lead the agency during this important time."

The WSLCB is drafting the rules that, together with Colorado, will govern a comprehensive systems of growing, processing and retailing marijuana for recreational use. The agency expects to begin accepting license applications in September. 

Garza currently serves as the president of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators (NCSLA), which consists of both private and state-controlled alcohol retail and distribution systems representing several states. 

Prior to joining the Liquor Control Board, he served 13 years as a staff member for the Washington State Legislature, including five years with the Washington State Senate and eight years with the state House. His legislative assignments included policy analyst in the state Senate, House of Representatives staff director, and adviser to House and Senate leadership.

Photo Credit: The National Cannabis Industry Association