Last week, reforms to Washington’s adult-use cannabis program took effect, allowing businesses to apply for trademark protections, making changes to industry advertising rules, and requiring the Liquor and Cannabis Board to study the feasibility of home-grows, which remains illegal in the state.
The measure increases the number of retail locations a licensee can run from three to five and allows permits to be revoked if the approved entity doesn’t open a location within two years. That revocation, however, would not be permitted if the business owner is “incapable of opening a fully operational retail marijuana business due to the actions by the city, town, or county with jurisdiction over the licensee,” according to the bill text.
The new rules also set advertising limits on cannabis operations in an effort to prevent advertising to children. The new advertising rules ban public transit advertising and marketing aimed at out-of-state residents and prohibit cannabis companies from using “toys…inflatables, movie or cartoon characters” in their advertising campaigns, including mascots.
While billboard advertisements are permitted, those are limited to shop name and location only, and bans such advertisements from containing “any depictions of marijuana plants.” Violations of the advertising rules can result in fines of $1,000.
The legislation requires that the Liquor and Cannabis Board provide the legislature with a report on home-grows by Dec. 1.