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Washington puts strict limits on pot billboards

UPDATED: Tue., May 16, 2017, 7:34 p.m.

OLYMPIA – Washington’s licensed marijuana stores will have to be careful how they advertise their products and services.

The state’s latest update to its marijuana rules, an annual legislative effort since voters legalized use of recreational marijuana under state law in 2012, was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday.

It says those stores can’t put up billboards that could be viewed as attracting minors, banning toys, cartoon characters or other images “likely to be appealing to youth.” Businesses basically are limited to a name and location, although local governments can put further restrictions on that. A marijuana seller also can’t hire a person in a costume to stand outside the shop and try to allure customers in.

The new law allows limited delivery services for the drug, allows limited sales of immature plants and seeds by licensed growers to medical marijuana patients or cooperatives, and orders the Liquor and Cannabis board to study and report by Dec. 1 the options for allowing recreational marijuana to be grown in homes.

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