OLYMPIA - Cannabis regulators in Washington State will not be imposing a ban on sugared edibles.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced in October of last year the agency would re-evaluate all edible pot products early in 2019, especially edibles that might be considered more appealing to children.
"Recently concerns have been raised by the Board, stakeholders, and the public regarding infused edible candy.
In response, staff reevaluated all approved marijuana-infused candy products to ensure the products align with current and new rules prohibiting products that are especially appealing to children," Cannabis regulators stated in a presentation.
Manager Derek Lybbert with pot retailer 2020 Solutions in Ephrata told iFIBER ONE News in October that although 2020 does sell edible products, they aren’t a huge part of its sales base.
“We’re all really glad for it actually," said Lybbert, speaking on the collective behalf of 2020 and other businesses in the state’s marijuana trade. “I don’t expect it to hurt anyone’s bottom line and I think it will make our products better and protect the entire industry.”
The board said when re-evaluating edible pot products, the agency found it has approved some products that would meet the definition of especially appealing to children.
The agency said it has previously approved candy such as hard candy of any style, shape or size and tarts, and fruit chews, jellies including all gummy type products.
WAC 314-55-077(7) states: "A marijuana processor is limited in the types of food or drinks they may infuse
with marijuana. Marijuana-infused products that are especially appealing to children are prohibited. Products such as, but not limited to, gummy candies, lollipops, cotton candy, or brightly colored products, are prohibited.”
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board said the criteria that was used when evaluating if a candy product was especially appealing to children included appearance, to commercially available products that are marketed towards and are especially appealing to children, and color.
Chocolate, cookies, caramels, and mints are allowed to be infused with cannabis but are limited in regards to appearance.
Infused edibles are approximately 9% of the marijuana sold in Washington State, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board stated.
The board approved an interim policy that doesn't ban sweetened edible pot products but does regulate the appearance in an effort to curb children consuming edible pot products.
The policy limits the shapes and colors edible pot manufacturers can use. Members of the Washington CannaBusiness Association are "very pleased with the results," the trade group’s Executive Director Vicki Christophersen said during a conference call.
Cannabis regulators said candies that are too brightly colored will need to be darkened.
“We really found that candy and chocolates marketed toward adults had muted tones … maybe one accent color,” said Nicola Reid, WSLCB licensing policy and compliance manager. “Candy marketed toward children had a multitude of colors.”