Seattle Hempfest Sues Washington Liquor & Cannabis Board | Ganjapreneur
Friday, Jun 7, 2019

Organizers of Seattle’s Hempfest are suing the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board over the regulators’ new interpretations of advertising restrictions, which advocates say violate their first amendment right to free speech.

Full story after the jump.

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Seattle Hempfest’s parent company, Seattle Events, and two licensed businesses are suing the Washington State Liquor Control board (WSLCB), contending the state legislature and WSLCB violated their first amendment rights.

The lawsuit stems from SB 5131, passed in 2017, and the WSLCB’s subsequent interpretation of state regulations. According to the Hempfest press release, the WSLCB issued Bulletin 19-01, interpreting the 2017 legislation in respect to “signs,” essentially barring cannabis retailers from displaying signs with the business name, or literature discussing cannabis science or potential cannabis public policy reforms.

“We believe that the new interpretation of Washington State’s I-502 ad guidelines are so overreaching and restrictive as to be unconstitutional,” said Vivian McPeak, Hempfest’s longtime director.