Seattle, WA asked in Business Law, Cannabis & Marijuana Law and Internet Law for Washington

Q: Can a WA dispensary legally make commissions off of third-party food products sold not on the premise?

For example, a dispensary has a QR code that affiliate links to a website that sells candy. The candy site pays them commissions for each sale that comes through because of the dispensary. I understand that WA state dispensaries cannot directly sell non-THC products (hats, candy, etc.).

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Washington State, cannabis dispensaries are subject to strict regulations regarding what they can and cannot sell or promote. While dispensaries are prohibited from selling non-THC products like regular food items or merchandise directly, the scenario you're describing involves an affiliate relationship rather than direct sales.

Setting up an affiliate link to a third-party website selling food products, such as candy, could potentially be a way for a dispensary to earn commissions without directly selling those items. However, it's crucial to ensure that this arrangement complies with all relevant state regulations, including those governing cannabis dispensaries and advertising.

It would be wise to review the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board's regulations and any other applicable state laws or guidelines. This can help determine whether such an affiliate marketing arrangement is permissible and under what conditions.

Given the complexity and evolving nature of cannabis law, consulting with an attorney experienced in cannabis and business law in Washington State is highly recommended. They can offer specific advice tailored to your situation, ensuring compliance with all legal requirements and reducing the risk of inadvertent violations.

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