From the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board
Help for Licensees During COVID-19 Restrictions
As stated in yesterday’s message, the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) has been working quickly to consider steps the agency can take to help licensees throughout this period of business restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are making some temporary modifications to allow businesses to act quickly.
Our intent is to allow additional ways for you to engage your customers without having to have your doors open for business. Please note however, the agency does not have authority to change state laws. Unless indicated otherwise, these temporary modifications are effective until a date to be determined later.
Guidance for Licensees with Alcohol Privileges: Effective Immediately
Returns of Alcohol Product
- Applies to: alcohol distributors, alcohol licensees
Due to the emergent circumstances, we are providing approval for distributors to pick up product from businesses impacted by COVID-19, which includes the allowance for distributors to provide a refund for the returned product. This temporary approval will be effective until April 01, 2020.
- Retail licensees impacted by closures may contact their distributor(s) to request the return of product.
- Distributors should email Lieutenant Robert Knowles at Knowles@lcb.wa.gov with the retail liquor license number(s) and product to be returned. This will allow us to track the impacts of the current situation and plan for future response.
- Please remember, this does not change the prohibition against consignment sales. Distributors are still not authorized to exchange product for a different product, per WAC 314-12-140.
Curbside Service and Delivery
- Applies to: alcohol licensees with “to go” privileges
If your on-premises business has “to go” or “home delivery privileges” for the sale of alcohol, licensees may immediately sell their allowed products to customers outside of their business but within the licensed property line. For, example, a brewery may sell growlers to customers at curbside. Follow this link to Temporary Allowed Services by License Type.
If you currently do not have “to go privileges” but the law allows you to do so, you may apply for that privilege by filling out Temporary Allowed Activities Form on the LCB website. We are working with local authorities to waive or accelerate the 20-day local review requirement.
- Applies to: Alcohol licensees with “delivery” privileges
If your on-premises business has “home delivery privileges” but have not applied for the added delivery endorsement, please use the Temporary Allowed Activities Form listed above. We are working with local authorities to waive or accelerate the 20-day local review requirement.
Guidance for Cannabis Licenses: Effective Immediately
- Applies to: Cannabis retailers, qualified medical patients with a valid authorization and recognition card and designated providers.
At this time, cannabis retailers are not required to close due to the coronavirus restrictions. However, to promote social distancing for qualified patients, the LCB is temporarily allowing cannabis retailers to sell to qualifying patients or their designated providers outside of their business but within the licensed property line. This is the same allowance provided to approved alcohol licensees during this time.
- Drive-through windows are not allowed;
- Qualified patients must be entered into the Dept. of Health medical marijuana authorization database and have a valid recognition card.
- Designated providers must be entered into the Dept. of Health medical marijuana authorization database and have a valid designated provider recognition card.
Update for Both Alcohol and Cannabis Licensees
Taxes, Fees and Penalties
Due to these requirement being contained in statute, the LCB does not have authority to waive taxes, fees and penalties. However, the LCB is actively exploring deferment of taxes and fees to ease the payment obligations on licensees that sell alcohol or cannabis. More on this soon.
The agency will be using the Coronvirus section of the website to post additional, updated information. For additional questions please route your questions through the Communications Office at Communications@lcb.wa.gov or 360-664-1774.
- The official Coronavirus Portal for the State of Washington
- For reliable health information visit the WA State Department of Health COVID-19 webpage.
“These are challenging times for all economic sectors. Again, our intent is to help where we can. Please stay tuned. Thank you.”