LCB clarifies ad rules, announces ePay for taxes

This is probably a bit inside baseball for most consumers, but I just thought I’d post it for our industry readers.

The state Liquor Control Board sent out a release today with a few changes to its system.


Looks like there’s a new way for I-502 businesses to pay taxes electronically through US Bank. I’m not exactly sure how this will work, though, considering all the other banking issues (like not being able to take credit or debit cards) plaguing the industry. Still, it seems a step in the right direction.

One of the FAQ changes strikes me as a bit odd. It says that for I-502 stores, a sandwich board sign “would be permissible as long as it is not located on the licensee’s premises and is NOT located on the a publicly-owned sidewalk or other publicly-owned or operated property.”

If a board can’t go on the premises, public sidewalk or other publicly owned site, where exactly CAN a store put one?

There’s also some clarification on what stores have to keep hidden from public view and what the public right of way actually means.

-SueVo (sue.vorenberg@columbian.com)

Here’s the agency’s latest release:

Below is an update to the Frequently Asked Questions regarding advertising that clarifies the interpretation of the public right-of-way. In addition, there is a new tax payment option for licensees.

EPay Option Now Available

In an effort to streamline payment options, reduce processing time, and minimize risk for our licensees, the WSLCB has implemented an EPay option for marijuana tax payments.

Beginning April 2, 2015, the WSLCB Traceability System will fully support electronic payment functionality. The E-Payment Service will allow licensees to enter their financial information directly into a secure portal and make their tax payment at the time they complete their monthly tax filing. This safe, convenient service provided by US Bank accepts payments made using bank account information and can be accessed directly through the WSLCB Traceability System.

Once a tax period has closed and the tax confirmation/filing is complete, a new “Pay Now” button will be available. Clicking the button will redirect the user to a payment portal provided by US Bank. Users may choose to register their information, which is then password protected for recurring use, or utilize the system as a guest without setting up a user ID. After the required information is entered and the transaction is complete, the payment is transmitted to the WSLCB for processing the following day.

For questions regarding this new service, please contact the Marijuana Tax Unit at 360-664-1789 or marijuanataxes@lcb.wa.gov.


Updated FAQ:

We have received multiple inquiries regarding sidewalks and have updated the following FAQ to address the inquiries:

Retailers are limited to one 1,600 square inch sign bearing their business/trade name. Does this include sandwich board signs that are used to advertise specials and events, often in the entrance of the property or on the sidewalk median?

A sandwich board would be permissible as long as it is not located on the licensee’s premises and is NOT located on the a publicly-owned sidewalk or other publicly-owned or operated property. Any sandwich board would not be allowed to display marijuana and/or marijuana infused products and need to comply with city/county code.

Public Right of Way

There has been some confusion for licensees on what constitutes right-of-way when it comes to being able to see within the windows of a marijuana licensee and under what cicrumstances a licensee would need to opaque or cover their windows. For the purposes of the WSLCB public right-of-way means any public street, sidewalk or thoroughfare that is owned or controlled by the city, county or state. Based on this interpretation, marijuana retailers are prohibited from displaying useable marijuana and marijuana-infused products if they are visible from a public sidewalk, street or thoroughfare. They will not be in violation if such items are visible solely from the privately owned parking lot or porch of a licensee’s store.

Note: This interpretation of public right-of-way does not affect the prohibitions under RCW 69.50.445 and 69.50.357(5) on consuming marijuana or marijuana-infused products in view of the general public or on outlet premises. Consuming marijuana or marijuana-infused products remains prohibited in parking lots and on the proches of storefronts.