BREAKING NEWS: Washington’s LCB to Make Changes to I-502 Edible Rules

In the wake of Maureen Dowd’s now infamous New York Times column and mounting tensions about youth access to marijuana in a world of legalization, the Washington State Liquor Control Board will be voting today on whether to add more (and probably stricter) rules to make things tougher on edible producers and manufacturers. These rules will be in addition to WAC 314-55

According to King 5:

Officials with the Liquor Control Board announced they plan to vote on new edible regulations Wednesday. The policies will require producers to obtain approval for their packaging, which can’t include toys, cartoons or images that are enticing for children … The products themselves cannot look like popular children’s candy either. Gummy Bears … won’t be allowed.

We don’t know exactly what these new rules look like yet, but we will soon. And though we are not happy about what we anticipate will be an increase in product scrutiny and regulation, we are not surprised. We have always viewed medibles as legalization’s potential achilles heel and we have always preached (see here  and here) that marijuana packaging and labeling needs to be thorough and accurate, both to reduce the likelihood of getting sued and to prevent the marijuana industry from taking hits to its reputation.

Right now though f you are involved with the marijuana candy business in Washington State you should watch for the new laws that come from the LCB today and you may have to throw away or repackage some of your products. Long term, you may also need to reconsider your product and packaging strategies.

We will provide an update to this post once the new rules are released.

Bottom Line:  Your marijuana edible products should comply with applicable state and local food safety and packaging and portion laws. In addition to that, you should consider how your product or packaging may expose you to legal or reputational risks and you should act accordingly, even before any laws require you to do so.

 

 

One response to “BREAKING NEWS: Washington’s LCB to Make Changes to I-502 Edible Rules”

  1. Multi-vitamins and calcium supplements are now available in “gummy bear”
    form in every pharmacy in the US. It’s a matter of clear labeling,
    in my opinion, just as the FDA requires child-proof caps,
    tamper-resistant seals and the like. The form is not the issue, it’s the
    content. Shaking my head over here.

    Also, on the topic of
    access, squirreling away retail from high-traffic areas in a community
    only invites youth to try to get away with buying underage. Example:
    Redmond. Put MJ retail in the light industrial area, away from foot
    traffic, and you’ll definitely have underage folks bringing in fake IDs
    and trying to buy when they’re not legally able to do so. BUT if you put
    the MJ retail between, say, a Jimmy Johns and a Chico’s apparel store,
    anyone who knows the kid going in or out is underage will have an
    opportunity to stop the transaction (or further transactions).
    Let’s
    say young Zach wants weed. He gets a fake ID and goes to the “out of
    view” area that retail is set up in. He successfully dupes the owner and
    gets himself a teenage underground pipeline. Conversely, he’s trying to
    buy in the high-traffic area and as he enters (or exits) the shop is
    seen by a teacher, neighbor, fellow classmate, coach and that person has
    a couple of options. They can call out Zach on the spot. “Let’s call
    your folks. Or we can call the police. Your choice.” Or they can ignore
    Zach but go speak with the retailer. Or, in a worst-case scenario, they
    can simply say nothing.

    If we want to keep weed out of the hands
    of kids, let’s put it where alcohol and shoes and skateboards and
    smartphones are sold: in high traffic areas.

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