July 17, 2014 in City, Health

Washington state agency sets rules for pot edibles

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Marijuana stores in Washington won’t be allowed to sell lollipops, gummy bears or other candies infused with the drug, but will be able to sell properly labeled brownies and cookies, a state agency decided Wednesday.

The Liquor Control Board approved rules for marijuana-infused food products, also known as edibles, designed to restrict items that may appeal strongly to children.

Banned will be products that could easily be mistaken for candies commonly sold to children.

Lollipops, gummy bears and cotton candy can sometimes be found in medical marijuana dispensaries not regulated by the board, but won’t be allowed in state-licensed recreational marijuana stores.

 The rules will allow marijuana-infused cookies or brownies providing those products have labels clearly listing the number of doses each contains.

If an item has multiple doses, the cookie or brownie must be scored to indicate the size of a single dose, and the dosage must be consistent throughout the item, said Becky Smith, the agency’s marijuana licensing and regulations manager.

Doses from different parts of the food item will have to be tested to ensure they have the same amount of psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, Smith said.

Kitchens also will have to pass inspections.

The state currently has no licensed marijuana processors producing edible products for recreational users, but those items are popular in Colorado, the only other state that has legalized marijuana for recreational use by adults, and with some medical marijuana users across the country.

Washington recreational stores only can sell marijuana products grown and processed in the state by licensed businesses.

 Any Washington processor planning to produce an edible product will have to submit photos of the item and its label to the agency for approval, said Karen McCall, the rules coordinator. The agency will approve or disapprove it within two days, and a processor can appeal.

The agency has issued licenses to more than 100 marijuana growers around the state, most of them who also intend to process the drug into packages for individual or other products, Smith said.

The number of licensed stores remains at just over two dozen more than a week after the first stores opened, with not all of them operating. Some that are open have problems obtaining marijuana to sell, Smith said.


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