Washington Dispensary Laws
KC FRANKS OWNER, LUX
"When I communicate with Greenbits, I know they are actually listening."
Q: How do I make sure I submit timely and accurate taxes each month to the LCB and DOR?
A: Since Greenbits has a full integration with the Washington state traceability system, we automatically submit monthly tax reports on your behalf to the state by the 18th of each month. There’s a simple, one click submit tax report button in the back office, as well as a direct link to the DOR online payment page so Greenbits can be your one stop shop!
Q: How do I ensure vendor and education samples are distributed in a compliant manner?
A: Greenbits pulls the specific “Sample” field from the state traceability system, which ensures anything marked as a sample is dispensed appropriately. We are able to assign employee IDs to education samples and also prevent you from selling a sample for $0 if the vendor forgot to mark it as a sample within the state system.
Q: How do I manage state compliance and my point-of-sale?
A: Greenbits is the only point-of-sale that is fully integrated with the state system. That means you never have to log into your state traceability system again. You can accept and return inventory, report taxes, and report recreational and medical transactions directly from the Greenbits back office and register
Running a retail cannabis business can be taxing if you don’t know what you’re doing. Any small business requires a level of professionalism, but a cannabis business is unique in that the laws of each state, county, and even city differ across the U.S.
Without a consensus, even a seasoned pro in one state will still have to study up on other states, and even once you get the hang of a state’s laws, they can quickly change at any given election. Here’s everything you need to know about operating a compliant cannabis business in Washington, and the state’s cannabis laws.
Do I need a license to operate?
Yes, medical marijuana was legalized in 1998 by Initiative 692 and continually revised since. In 2012, Initiative 502 legalized recreational marijuana. Since then, regulations have continuously evolved both programs.
Who manages cannabis licenses in Washington?
Although medical marijuana patients register through the Washington State Department of Health, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board manages all licenses for medical and recreational businesses. There are six license types available: Producer, Processor, Retailer, Transportation, Marijuana Research, and Cooperatives Registration.
How do I get a license in Washington?
Online applications are available on the LCB’s website, although they are not currently accepting new applications for Producer, Processor, or Retailer licenses. Each application process, along with any applicable supporting documentation or fees, is laid out online.
How much does a license cost?
License applications cost $250 non-refundable application fee and $1480 issuance/renewal fee. There are also fees for license information changes (i.e. location). Additional non-cannabis-specific business licensing fees are applicable as well.
Are there annual licensing fees?
Yes. The fees above are annual.
What license type do I need to service recreational and medical patients?
A retailer or cooperative license is necessary to sell marijuana in the state of Washington.
Will I be able to get a retail license if I already have a dispensary?
Yes. You can have up to three marijuana licenses within each city/county’s limit of 33.
What local (county level) permissions will I need to operate?
It’s best to check with your local city and state government for requirements prior to applying for a state license. Several towns in Washington don’t want marijuana businesses to operate within their borders, despite statewide legalization overruling local law.
Do I need a license to host a cannabis event in Washington?
Each city is different, so check with local legislators. There are no statewide rules regarding cannabis events, except that public consumption is forbidden. There are several state permits needed though.High Times hosted the Cannabis Cup in Everett and Fremont for several years but stopped because of the inability to obtain a liquor license and a special-event permit from the state.
Do I need a separate premises license for cannabis events?
The location of your cannabis events determines which license you’ll need to pursue. If you’re attending an event like a High Times Cannabis Cup or one of the many cannabis events held around Washington state, you’re actually a vendor at that event.
Holding your own offsite events puts you in a High Times position where you need to file the proper city and county licenses. Work with the venue to ensure this is completed in a timely manner.
Can I get a cannabis event license if I hold a retailer license?
Yes. You can hold events on your premises, host offsite events, or attend offsite events proudly representing your business.
How can I ensure that I remain compliant?
Reading, understanding, and consistently applying Washington state cannabis regulations is essential. During the application process, your entire organization will be tested on compliance competency.|
Also track everything. Record every interaction. Have every dollar, plant, and product tracked from seed to sale. A solid POS that can automatically interface with the state’s tracking system is only the start of what you’ll need to stay compliant.
Cloud video data storage will be a significant cost for startup businesses. Plan ahead for this.
What security measures am I required to take?
Required cannabis business security measures will cost at least $100,000. Video surveillance, security lighting, transportation and waste disposal processes, platforms, and procedures need to be in place from day one.
Can I package and label cannabis in my retail store?
It’s a funny question, because you’ll be labeling all product that enters and exits your retail store. There are no specific regulations about packaging on premises, but cannabis must be already sealed before transport.
Can I sell alcohol or tobacco at my cannabis retail store?
Yes and no. Generally, you can’t sell alcohol or tobacco at cannabis dispensaries or cannabis at smoke shops, liquor shops, etc. Terpenes (basically cannabis essential oils) and hemp products have different rules. It’s possible to create cannabis-flavored products that don’t include THC.
Can I vertically integrate my cannabis businesses?
Kinda. Washington’s cannabis laws closely mirror its alcohol laws, so there’s a clear line of separation between producers, distributors, and retailers. You can, however, hold a producer and processor license.Can I sample or give product away in store?
Can I sample or give product away in store?
You can give away products to medical patients.
What are the operating hours for a retail shop?
Your store can be open between the hours of 8am and 12am, seven days a week.
Can I have public-facing displays on my storefront?
Products can’t be displayed publicly, nor can pictures of them. Licensees are limited to a total of two 1600 sq-inch signs permanently attached to the building or other licensed structure. Other forms of advertisement are prohibited.
How old does someone need to be to buy cannabis?
18 with a qualifying medical condition, 21 for recreational cannabis