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New measure sets restrictions on cannabis store advertisements

By: Soft Secrets, July 26, 2017

Kevin Palmer spins, throws and flips his arrow-shaped sign off of Silverdale Way to advertise Fillabong, a recreational marijuana store a block away from the Kitsap Mall.

Sign spinner Kevin Palmer advertises for marijuana stores three to five times a week. A new law that goes into effect July 23 will prohibit sign spinners from cannabis stores.(Photo: Michaela Roman / Kitsap Sun)

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board approached lawmakers with the idea of advertising restrictions, said one of the bill’s sponsors, Steven Conway, a Democratic senator from Pierce County. Though the original state initiative to legalize marijuana was full of restrictions on sales and use, advertising in many forms has been allowed on public billboards, sandwich boards and in print materials or online.

Any form of transit advertising is prohibited, including vinyl wrapped vehicles and logoed delivery vehicles. Licensees are also prohibited from engaging in advertising that specifically targets persons outside of Washington.

The new restrictions also state that a city, town, or county may adopt rules of outdoor advertising for licensed marijuana retailers that are more restrictive.

The Pot Zone, Kitsap County’s first cannabis store, had to modify one of its billboards because it had leaves on it. Randy Jones owns The Pot Zone in Port Orchard and co-owns Zia Recreational in Hoquiam.

“These laws change all the time and our job is to be compliant,” Jones said. “It’s just another hoop we got to jump through but you know it is what it is.”

With the empty space from removing the leaves in the Pot Zones logo, Jones added the slogan, “Your cannabis headquarters.”

Restrictions on advertising weren’t the only provisions in the bill. Jones applauded some positive measures for pot industry business owners that came out of this legislative session as well. Cannabis stores owners can now own up to five retail licenses per business, up from the previous limit of three.

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