Changes to Marijuana Advertising Law

Changes to Marijuana Advertising Laws

 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: a Business or tradename, aBusiness 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 and 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.