The Washington State Liquor Control Board has passed an emergency rule prohibiting conditional sales or the bundling of marijuana and paraphernalia. The new rule can be found here.
Paraphernalia (i.e. pipes, lighters, etc.) are not subject to the State’s excessive 25% excise tax and thus, some marijuana retailers have been selling marijuana along with another product such as a pipe and then attributing most of the sales cost to the pipe to lower their excise tax burden.
The emergency rule prohibits this practice. Retailers are now explicitly prohibited from requiring customers to purchase another product as a condition of purchasing marijuana. The selling price of marijuana has to be its true value when sold without any other products or services.
Retailers and other recreational marijuana licensees are suffering under the State’s steep excise tax burden. Action needs to be taken at the legislative level to reduce this burden so that the State’s legal marijuana market can succeed.
For more information on the regulation of recreational marijuana businesses in in Washington State, please contact Heather Wolf.