The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis (WSLCB) board recently sent out a bulletin announcing that most COVID cannabis allowances would be ending on July 31, 2021. These include curbside pickup, allowing staff children at farms, and walk-up windows.
When COVID lockdowns began more than a year ago cannabis was deemed an essential service. The WSLCB made temporary allowances to help support licensed cannabis businesses. These allowances provided walk-up and curbside sales at retails stores. In addition, minors were allowed to be present at licensed cannabis producers to support families impacted by school closures.
Now with statewide restrictions ending June 30, 2021, those allowances also will be ending. While some the alcohol allowances have been extended into 2023 by the legislature, all the cannabis allowances have been rolled back. The WSLCB did provide an additional 30 days to allow cannabis businesses to come into compliance.
To ensure your licensed cannabis business complies, be sure to end all walk up or curbside sales and prevent minors from being present by the end of July. In May, the WSLCB resumed compliance checks. Although customers and licensees may be unhappy with the end of these COVID cannabis allowances, you must comply to avoid potential violations. COVID may not be over, but support from Washington regulators will be on July 31.
On July 29, 2021 the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board changed course and announced an extension to the allowance for minors at licensed producer/processors.
“Due to daycare challenges, particularly in eastern Washington, and the dynamic and uncertain nature of the state’s response to COVID variants, the LCB is extending the limited allowance for minors in licensed marijuana producers and processor premises. The new expiration date is set for Oct. 31, 2021. The LCB will later review the expiration date to consider whether it should be again be extended.”
On September 2nd the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board announced that for health and safety reasons they are reactivating allowances. With COVID-19 cases on the rise the return of curbside service and walk up windows along with giving away hand sanitizers and masks are welcome tools to ensure employee and customer health and safety. The allowances have been reactivated until October 31, 2021.