Friday, November 7, 2014

Liquor Control Board is seeking public comments about marijuana-infused foods

The Liquor Control Board (LCB) recently proposed new rules to govern what types of marijuana-infused foods they will allow to be made (processed) and sold as part of Washington’s recreational marijuana system.  The LCB does not regulate the medical marijuana market so these rules only apply to the recreational (I-502) market. 

Public comment period

The LCB is now seeking public comments about their proposed rules.  Comments are due by December 3 and a public hearing will be held that day. 

Overview of proposed rules

Marijuana processors must get infused products approved by LCB. 
What the proposed rule says: A marijuana processor licensee must obtain approval from the liquor control board for all marijuana-infused products, labeling, and packaging prior to offering these items for sale to a marijuana retailer. The marijuana processor licensee must submit a picture of the product, labeling, and packaging to the liquor control board for approval.

Denials may be appealed. 
What the proposed rule says: If the liquor control board denies a marijuana-infused product for sale in marijuana retail outlets, the marijuana processor licensee may request an administrative hearing per chapter 34.05 RCW, Administrative Procedure Act.

Products must be scored to show serving sizes. 
What the proposed rule says: Marijuana-infused products in solid form that contain more than one serving must be scored to indicate individual serving sizes, and labeled so that the serving size is prominently displayed on the packaging.

Packages containing multiple servings must be re-sealable. 
What the proposed rule says: Products containing more than one serving must be packaged in a package that remains child resistant after the package is opened.

Servings must contain equal amounts of THC. 
What the proposed rule says:  Marijuana-infused products must be homogenized to ensure uniform disbursement of cannabinoids throughout the product.

Packages must say that the product contains marijuana. 
What the proposed rule says: All marijuana-infused products must state on the label, "This product contains marijuana."

Products cannot be appealing to children. 
What the proposed rule says:  A marijuana processor is limited in the types of food or drinks they may infuse with marijuana to create (an infused edible product) marijuana-infused solid or liquor products meant to be ingested orally, that may be sold by a marijuana retailer. Marijuana-infused products that are made to be especially appealing to children are prohibited. Marijuana-infused products such as, but not limited to, gummy candies, lollipops, cotton candy, or brightly colored products, are prohibited.

Approved marijuana-infused products

The LCB implemented emergency rules about marijuana edibles earlier this year that required that all marijuana-infused products, packaging, and labeling be approved by them.  Following are a few examples of products that have already been approved by the LCB and are being sold in retail stores:
  • Cherry soda
  • Peanut butter cookies
  • Granola
  • Trail mix
  • Cinnamon & sugar pita chips
  • Chocolate-covered pretzels
  • Brownie bites
The regularly-updated list of approved marijuana-infused products may be viewed on the LCB's website.  

For information about this topic, KCTS recently broadcast a story about marijuana edibles in both the medical and recreational markets.  

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