WSLCB Issues Changes to Marijuana Advertising Laws

WSLCB issues new advertising regulations

WASHINGTON: Effective July 23, 2017, marijuana licensees will see changes and additional advertising restrictions, mainly around signage and billboards. These changes come from the passage of ESSB 5131 during the legislative session. The LCB will follow with additional communication regarding potential clarifying rulemaking, however, we wanted to make licensees aware so that they can comply with the law changes.

The information below summarizes some key points. For the full text of the law, which contains additional restrictions, see Laws of 2017, Chapter 317 (ESSB 5131, Sec. 14).

Business Signs and Outdoor Advertising

  • Licensees are limited to two signs (maximum 1600 sq. inches) that are permanently affixed to a building or other structure on the licensed premises.
  • Other forms of signage/outdoor advertising are prohibited, such as sign spinners, sandwich boards, inflatables, persons in costume, etc.
  • Signs are limited to the following information:

o   Business or tradename,

o   Business location, and

o   Identifying the nature of the business.

  • Signs must contain text stating that marijuana products may be purchased or possessed only by persons 21 years of age or older.
  • Signs cannot contain depictions of plants or products (ex: leaf = plant, joint = product), or use movie or cartoon characters, or any other depiction that might be appealing to children.
  • Signs may contain:

o   Images – Will be further clarified in rule, but images cannot be plants, products, appealing to children, etc.

o   Logos – Logos may not contain plants, products, or be appealing to children, etc.

Billboards
Licensed retail outlets may use a billboard solely for the purpose of identifying the name of the business, the nature of the business, and providing the public with directional information to the licensed retail outlet.

  • Billboards are limited to the same restrictions as outdoor signs (listed above):

o   Billboards must contain text stating that marijuana products may be purchased or possessed only by persons 21 years of age or older.

o   Billboards cannot contain depictions of plants or products (ex: leaf = plant, joint = product), or use movie or cartoon characters, or any other depiction that might be appealing to children.

o   Billboards may contain:

  • Images – Will be further clarified in rule, but images cannot be plants, products, appealing to children, etc.
  • Logos – Logos may not contain plants, products, or be appealing to children, etc.
  • Billboards must contain all of the warnings required for advertising under WAC 314-55-155.

Other Advertising Restrictions

  • Transit advertising is prohibited on or in public or private vehicles and at bus stops, taxi stands, transportation waiting areas, train stations, airports, etc. This includes vinyl wrapped vehicles, logoed delivery vehicles/company cars.
  • All print advertising must contain text that marijuana products may be purchased or possessed only by persons 21 years of age or older.
  • Licensees are prohibited from engaging in advertising that specifically targets persons outside the state of Washington.

Local Authorities
A city, town, or county may adopt rules of outdoor advertising by licensed marijuana retailers that are more restrictive than the advertising restrictions imposed under this chapter. Enforcement of restrictions to advertising is the responsibility of the city, town, or county.

 

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