Tips for Social Distancing and Risk Management as 4/20 approaches

Most cannabis users (especially in “legal” states celebrate the day 4/20 as our national holiday with festivals and parties for years. 2020 is different, however, as we are all aware. The WSLCB (Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board) issued the following statement advising how to safer celebrate “our” holiday.

4/20 safety tips from the WSLCB

As April 20th (4-20) is approaching, we want to share some risk management ideas to encourage compliance with the Governor’s Proclamations involving social distancing.

Even in the midst of COVID-19, we understand you neeed to use marketing strategies for continued business success. As a business remaining open during this time, we ask that you continue efforts in practicing social distancing by maintaining six feet of distance between all people within and outside your store and refraining from having any gatherings. More recommendations on how you can do your part as a retail establishment to prevent the spread of COVID-19 can be found on the COVID-19 section of the LCB website.

In short, this is a different year than most. We are counting on you to ensure your store is not a place where people are congregating. That may mean reconsidering sales or promotions you have run in previous years. If you must run promotions, consider offering them across the entire week or month to minimize a rush on a single day that could compromise social distancing measuresThis will assist Washington communities from engaging in actions that compromise the health and safety of all by preventing the spread of the virus.

Ideas for Things to Avoid

  • Any advertising encouraging 4-20 event participation at your location;
  • Discounts for product only available on 4-20-20;
  • Using outdoor advertising to draw large volumes of customers to shop on a specific day;
  • Vendor days and events where large groups could congregate; and
  • Extra activities such as hiring food trucks and bands.

Alternative Ideas:

  • Tailor advertising to accommodate for physical distancing, such as advertising occupancy limitations or staggered pick up times;
  • Advertising sales distributed over the entire month of April; and
  • Enacting policies promoting a safe environment to shop, (i.e. commitment to maintain social distancing by marking six-foot increments on flooring inside and outside of store, and allowance for curbside pickup).

General Compliance Reminders

  • Avoid any cannabis advertising which might be especially appealing to minors. This would include the use of bunny rabbits, colorful candies, Easter eggs, children playing, etc.;
  • Do not use mascots, costumed characters, or sign spinners outside of your premises;
  • Do not engage in any giveaways, including free food or beverages;
  • Avoid selling unauthorized merchandise other than allowed by law;
  • Do not use coupons or bring-this-to-get-that type promotions;
  • Do not allow consumption of cannabis upon the licensed premises;
  • Do not host or promote “smoke friendly” events. The opening or consumption of cannabis is only allowed in private areas, outside of public view. If your event is advertised, and/or charges a fee to attend, and/or is held in a public place, it is likely not a private event.

COVID – 19 reminders

  • All gatherings, including family and private ones, regardless of the number of people involved, are not allowed at this time per Governor’s Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25.1.
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