Washington state regulators from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board advised cannabis businesses to follow regulations that provide warnings when sending out text messages as advertisements, just as with any other marijuana ad.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board issued a notice that aside from outdoor ads, all advertising must include the following information:
- The product has intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming.
- Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination and judgment. Consumers should not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of cannabis.
- Health risks associated with consumption of the product may exist.
- The product is for use only by adults 21 and older, and it should be kept out of the reach of children.
The full text of the notice and link to legislation are below:
Date: May 31, 2019To: Industry Members
From: Matt McCallum, Enforcement Advertising Coordinator
Subject:Warnings required on text message advertising
Text message advertising is required to follow the advertising warning requirements like any other general marijuana advertisement.
WAC 314-55-155(6) states that except for outdoor advertising, all advertising must contain the following warnings:
- (a) “This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming.”;
- (b) “Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.”;
- (c) “There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product.”; and
- (d) “For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.”
Warnings alone may not be attached via a link, or any other method that would require the recipient or receiver of the text advertisement to perform an action to access the warnings separate from the text message.
An example of what would be allowed would be a trade name or non-advertising language, accompanied by a link within the text that takes individuals to the advertisement which contains the required warnings. If any part of the text message itself can be considered advertising, however, it will need to contain all required warnings.
Please take a moment to assess your current text advertisement warning practices and correct, if appropriate. If you have questions about these requirements, please contact your area LCB enforcement officer.