Washington pot shops haven’t really needed to advertise yet.
There’s so little recreational marijuana to go around that stores
are struggling just to keep product in stock.
Eventually though, there will be enough supply, and
enough stores open, that pot shop owners will need to promote
themselves to stand out in the crowd. There’s been some confusion
around the rules that dictate pot advertising, so the Liquor
posted a handy FAQ yesterday to clear the air.
The FAQ covers all the basics, including websites, signage and
promotions. Many restrictions on pot advertising are aimed at
protecting children and upholding the 1,000-foot buffer around
schools, parks and other community centers. Here are a few key
- Advertising in print media (like newspapers!) is OK. Though
printed publications are sometimes distributed
to schools, but the LCB doesn’t intend to enforce the
1,000-foot buffer for newspaper advertising. Advertising on
radio and TV stations is permitted but could conflict with federal
- Retailers can’t sell marijuana for less than cost and they
can’t give away free samples.
- Retailers can advertise with decals on a vehicle or
delivery truck, but that vehicle cannot enter any of
the 1,000-foot buffer areas, which would make getting
around town pretty tricky.
Questions for the FAQ were drawn from queries submitted by real
I-502 entrepreneurs, and some clearly have big plans:
assume that I may choose a logo that is not directly related to
marijuana, such as a donkey?
A: Yes, but be careful that the logo does not appeal to
(Note: Donkeys are adorable. What donkey won’t appeal
Q: I want to provide free “mini doobies” to concert
goers. However, the MJ I’m giving is not mine. It is medical
marijuana that is of the same strain as those I will sell in my
recreational retail store. I’ve announced this on my I-502-licensed
Facebook page and website. Is this ok?
A: Not ok. As a licensed business, you may not give away
marijuana. You may only sell taxed and tested marijuana that you
purchased from a processor.
Q: May you use wording implying just how fine your
brand might be. Like, “County Gold, Washington’s Best,” or
You can read
the full FAQ here.