Effective immediately, the WSLCB is amending its policy on nominal giveaways in cannabis retail stores. The WSLCB has received a significant amount of requests to permit nominal giveaways, such as free matches provided at the check-out counter,
but such activity is currently prohibited by WAC 314-55-155. However, after reviewing state statutes and the intent behind the giveaway prohibition, to restrict access to youth and avoid advertising to out-of-state residents, the wsLCB concluded that giveaways other than advertising, are not prohibited by RCW 69.50 and do not conflict with the intent. A such, the WSLCB is taking a policy stance that nominal giveaways are acceptable in a retail store, provided:
- The free item qualifies as paraphernalia as defined in RCW 69.50.102 ,
- The free item is not advertised, except by in-store merchandising pursuant to RCW 69.50.369 ,
- The retailer must have purchased the freebie for giveaway,
- Any branding on the item must be only that of the licensed retailer (no marks of or relating to a producer or processor),
- The value of the freebie must be less than one dollar,
- The freebie cannot be part of a conditional sale.
DLG expects that the WSLCB will shortly begin a CR101 for purposes of amending WAC 314-55-155 to align with this new policy regarding giveaways.