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PDFWAC 314-55-155

Advertising requirements and promotional itemsCoupons, giveaways, etc.

The following provisions apply in addition to the requirements and restrictions in RCW 69.50.369.
(1) Advertising generally. The following requirements apply to all advertising by cannabis licensees in Washington state.
(a) All cannabis advertising and labels of useable cannabis, cannabis concentrates, and cannabis-infused products sold in the state of Washington must not contain any statement, or illustration that:
(i) Is false or misleading;
(ii) Promotes over consumption;
(iii) Represents the use of cannabis has curative or therapeutic effects;
(iv) Depicts a child or other person under legal age to consume cannabis, or includes:
(A) The use of objects, such as toys, inflatables, movie characters, cartoon characters suggesting the presence of a child, or any other depiction or image designed in any manner to be likely to be appealing to youth or especially appealing to children or other persons under legal age to consume cannabis; or
(B) Is designed in any manner that would be especially appealing to children or other persons under 21 years of age.
(b) No cannabis licensee shall place or maintain, or cause to be placed or maintained, an advertisement of a cannabis business or cannabis product, including cannabis concentrates, useable cannabis, or cannabis-infused product:
(i) In any form or through any medium whatsoever within 1,000 feet of the perimeter of a school grounds, playground, recreation center or facility, child care center, public park, library, or a game arcade admission to which it is not restricted to persons aged 21 years or older unless the 1,000 minimum distance requirement has been reduced by ordinance in the local jurisdiction where the licensed retailer is located and the licensed retailer is located within 1,000 feet of a restricted location listed in this paragraph;
(ii) On or in a private vehicle, public transit vehicle, public transit shelter, bus stop, taxi stand, transportation waiting area, train station, airport, or any similar transit-related location;
(c) All advertising for cannabis businesses or cannabis products, regardless of what medium is used, must contain text stating that cannabis products may be purchased or possessed only by persons 21 years of age or older. Examples of language that conforms to this requirement include, but are not limited to: "21+," "for use by persons 21 and over only," etc.
(d) A cannabis licensee may not engage in advertising or marketing that specifically targets persons residing out of the state of Washington.
(2) Outdoor advertising. In addition to the requirements for advertising in subsection (1) of this section, the following restrictions and requirements apply to outdoor advertising by cannabis licensees:
(a) Except for the use of billboards as authorized under RCW 69.50.369 and as provided in this section, licensed cannabis retailers may not display any outdoor signage other than two separate signs identifying the retail outlet by the licensee's business name or trade name, stating the location of the business, and identifying the nature of the business. Both signs must be affixed to a building or permanent structure and each sign is limited to 1,600 square inches.
(i) All text on outdoor signs, including billboards, is limited to text that identifies the retail outlet by the licensee's business or trade name, states the location of the business, and identifies the type or nature of the business.
(ii) No outdoor advertising signs, including billboards, may contain depictions of cannabis plants or cannabis products. Logos or artwork that do not contain depictions of cannabis plants or cannabis products as defined in this section are permissible.
(A) A depiction of a cannabis plant means an image or visual representation of a cannabis leaf, plant, or the likeness thereof that explicitly suggests or represents a cannabis leaf or plant.
(B) A depiction of a cannabis product means an image or visual representation of useable cannabis, cannabis-infused products, or cannabis concentrates, or an image that indicates the presence of a product, such as smoke, etc.
(iii) Stating the location of the business may include information such as the physical address or location, directional information, website address, email address, or phone number of the licensed business.
(iv) Identifying the nature of the business may include information related to the operation of the business, what the business is engaged in, or the goods the business offers for sale.
(v) Double-sided signs or signs with text visible on opposite sides are permissible and count as a single sign so long as the sign is contained in or affixed to a single structure.
(b) No cannabis licensee may use or employ a commercial mascot outside of, and in proximity to, a licensed cannabis business.
(c) Outdoor advertising is prohibited on signs and placards in arenas, stadiums, shopping malls, fairs that receive state allocations, farmers markets, and video game arcades, whether any of the foregoing are open air or enclosed, but not including any such sign or placard located at an adult only facility.
(d) The restrictions in this section and RCW 69.50.369 do not apply to outdoor advertisements at the site of an event to be held at an adult only facility that is placed at such site during the period the facility or enclosed area constitutes an adult only facility, but must not be placed there more than 14 days before the event, and that does not advertise any cannabis product other than by using a brand name, such as the business or trade name or the product brand, to identify the event. Advertising at adult only facilities must not be visible from outside the adult only facility.
(e) A sign affixed to the licensed premises or in the window of a licensed premises indicating the location is open for business, closed for business, the hours of operation, that the licensed location has an ATM inside, or other similar informational signs not related to the products or services of the cannabis business are not considered advertising for the purposes of this section.
(f) "Adopt-a-Highway" signs erected by the Washington state department of transportation under a current valid sponsorship with the department of transportation are not considered advertising for the purposes of this section.
(3) Advertising placed on windows within the premises of a licensed cannabis retail store facing outward must meet the requirements for outdoor advertising as provided in RCW 69.50.369 and this section.
(4) Promotional items such as giveaways, coupons, and distribution of branded or unbranded merchandise are banned. For the purposes of this section, a "giveaway" does not include representative samples of products (edible products and topicals only) carried by a licensed retailer that are not infused with cannabis and are offered to customers on licensed cannabis retail premises for sampling purposes only.
(5) Cannabis retail licensees holding a medical cannabis endorsement may donate product to qualifying patients or designated providers who hold a valid recognition card. Retail licensees may not advertise "free" or "donated" product.
(6) Except for outdoor advertising under subsection (2) of this section, all advertising must contain the following warnings that must be in type size at least 10 percent of the largest type used in the advertisement:
(a) "This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming.";
(b) "Cannabis can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.";
(c) "There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product."; and
(d) "For use only by adults 21 and older. Keep out of the reach of children."
(7) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(a) "Adult only facility" means:
(i) A location restricted to persons age 21 and older by the WSLCB or classified by the WSLCB as off limits to persons under 21 years of age; or
(ii) A venue restricted to persons age 21 and older and where persons under 21 years of age are prohibited from entering or remaining, including employees and volunteers.
(b) "Billboard" means a permanent off-premises sign in a fixed location used, in whole or in part, for the display of off-site commercial messages with a minimum size of five feet in height by 11 feet in width.
(c) "Off-premises sign" means a sign relating, through its message and content, to a business activity, product, or service not available on the premises upon which the sign is erected.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 69.50.342 and 2022 c 16 § 168. WSR 22-14-111, § 314-55-155, filed 7/6/22, effective 8/6/22. Statutory Authority: RCW 69.50.325, 69.50.342, 69.50.345, and 69.50.369. WSR 18-22-055, § 314-55-155, filed 10/31/18, effective 12/1/18. Statutory Authority: RCW 69.50.342, 69.50.345, and 69.50.369. WSR 18-05-001, § 314-55-155, filed 2/7/18, effective 3/10/18. Statutory Authority: RCW 69.50.342 and 69.50.345. WSR 16-11-110, § 314-55-155, filed 5/18/16, effective 6/18/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 69.50.325, 69.50.331, 69.50.342, 69.50.345. WSR 13-21-104, § 314-55-155, filed 10/21/13, effective 11/21/13.]
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