OLYMPIA – The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) today announced in a message to marijuana licensees that it will pause its marijuana edible product and label review for 30 days. During this time, the agency requested a coalition of industry organizations to bring forward alternatives for the agency to consider. Coalition members have indicated that they will be meeting later this month to discuss their proposal(s).
Some industry members expressed concerns following a cannabis-infused candy presentation at the Oct. 3, 2018 regularly scheduled Board meeting. A message was sent soon after clarifying the agency’s process for product and label review. Since the announcement, agency staff have had additional conversations with industry members and industry trade organizations that requested the WSLCB halt its product review and allow time for stakeholders to be heard. Specifically, a coalition of CORE, the Cannabis Alliance and Washington Cannabusiness Association together formally wrote the LCB requesting the same.
“In conversations with industry members, we agreed to pause the product and label review process to consider any alternative proposals from the industry,” said agency director Rick Garza
Regardless of whether it accepts an alternative proposal for certain edible products, the LCB will continue its practice of not allowing any product that it deems “especially appealing to children” to enter the marketplace. Preventing access to infused edibles that would be especially appealing to children and youth has always been a high priority of the Board. There has not been any recent rule changes that enacted that priority. The rule has been in place since 2015 in WAC 314-55-077(7), which states:
“A marijuana processor is limited in the types of food or drinks they may infuse with marijuana. Marijuana-infused products that require cooking or baking by the consumer are prohibited. Marijuana-infused products that are especially appealing to children are prohibited. Marijuana-infused edible products such as, but not limited to, gummy candies, lollipops, cotton candy, or brightly colored products, are prohibited.”
A webinar scheduled with licensees next week has been postponed until mid-November.