Washington State Liquor And Cannabis Board Addresses COVID-19

Yesterday at the close of business, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) emailed stakeholders an update on COVID-19. This update was in response to an earlier proclamation by Governor Jay Inslee which shut down restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and any other venues where people congregate to eat and drink. The proclamation also prohibits public venues where people congregate for entertainment, social, or recreational purposes, such as “theaters, bowling alleys, gyms, fitness centers, non-tribal card rooms, barbershops and hair/nail salons, tattoo parlors, pool halls, and other similar venues[.]”

The proclamation did not prohibit restaurants from providing, drive-through, take-out, and delivery services or shut down businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies, or convenience stores. However, all retail stores must “designate an employee or officer who must establish and implement social distancing and sanitation measures established by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Washington State Department of Health guidelines.”

The WSLCB’s guidance clarifies some points within Washington’s regulated marketplace. First, it clarifies that marijuana retailers are not required to close, so long as they designate an employee or officer to establish best practices in light of COVID-19. It’s reassuring to those businesses that wish to stay

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