Washington Updates Cannabis Regulations for COVID-19

Washington cannabis regulators have updated their guidelines for medical and adult-use cannabis dispensaries in the state after the governor issued a statewide shelter-in-place order.

Full story after the jump.

On Monday, March 23, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) issued a shelter-in-place order that closed all non-essential businesses in the state. On Tuesday, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board updated guidelines for retail cannabis locations.

Similar to many other legalized states, Washington‘s cannabis market has been designated essential during the wake of COVID-19 infections that has swept the globe.

The Board is expanding curbside cannabis services from only qualified medical cannabis patients to include all adult-use customers. According to the LCB’s guidance, no “drive-through windows” are allowed and everyone present in a vehicle must be over 21 years old and show ID. Curbside services must also be only available in designated areas and LCB encourages that video cameras be used wherever possible to monitor outside sales. 

In an email directive, the WSLCB said: 

“The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) has been working quickly to consider steps the agency can take to help licensees throughout this period of business restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are making some temporary modifications to allow businesses to act quickly and minimize their impacts on disease transmission.” — LCB statement, in an email

The LCB is also looking at suspending fees related to late taxes, but said they are waiting for a “proclamation from the Governor.”

“Our intent is to allow additional ways for you to engage your customers without having to have your doors open for business,” regulators wrote. “Please note however, the agency does not have authority to change state laws. Unless indicated otherwise, these temporary modifications are effective immediately and in place through Gov. Inslee’s Emergency Declaration period or until rescinded by the LCB, whichever is sooner.”


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