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.