MYNORTHWEST BLOG

Should the cannabis industry have seen an edible ban coming?

Oct 10, 2018, 3:39 PM

The local pot industry was rocked by a recent announcement from the state Liquor and Cannabis Board, stating an intent to ban certain marijuana-infused edibles because they appeal to children.

RELATED: Bainbridge Island chef gears up for fight over cannabis coffee

The Liquor and Cannabis board released its ruling on Oct. 4, with the goal to “reevaluate” edibles, citing a need to “ensure the products align with current and new rules prohibiting products that are especially appealing to children.”

As the news came down, vendors and shops across the state were stunned.

“Needless to say, it was a shock to those licensees who had products that had been approved and on the market,” Washington Canna-Business Association’s Vicki Christophersen told KIRO Radio.

Christophersen argued further in a news release that “youth use of pot and cannabis-abuse treatment admissions have not increased in Washington since marijuana was legalized, according to a new analysis by the state Legislature’s think tank.”

She estimated that a potential blanket ban on certain edibles would cost “millions of dollars invested,” and affect “thousands of employees across the state.”

Everyone should have seen this coming

All that being said, the laws currently on the books have always been pretty specific when it comes to what is and isn’t allowed concerning edibles. From WAC 314-55-077 (emphasis ours):

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.

Obviously there’s plenty of blame to go around, as a variety of products that violate the current laws were subject to approval from the state Liquor and Cannabis Board, and still made it to market anyway.

But to say that a proposed ban came as a complete surprise seems dubious, given that all that’s being proposed here is a stricter enforcement of the state’s current laws.

What exactly will be restricted?

While the idea of an “edibles ban” seems extreme, what’s really being considered is far more nuanced. According to the Liquor and Cannabis Board’s recent presentation, “allowable infused products with limitations on appearance” will still include chocolate, cookies, caramels, and mints, in addition to beverages, baked goods, capsules, chips, crackers, sauces, spices, and tinctures.

The board will be looking to evaluate edibles moving forward based on factors like appearance, color, and “similarity to commercially available products that are marketed towards children.”

Licensees will still be allowed to sell through their current inventory of edibles in violation until they’re depleted, or until April 3, 2019 (whichever comes first).

Plenty of things had to go wrong for us to get to this point. When it’s all said and done, the state Liquor and Cannabis board did a poor job enforcing its own laws, and licensees got comfortable investing millions in products they knew violated those laws in the first place.

Regardless, be prepared to say goodbye to your weed-infused gummy bears should the state move forward with its proposal.

MyNorthwest Blog

Mayor Bruce Harrell, Sonics...
Nick Bowman

Mayor Harrell latest to pick up the torch on years-long effort to bring back the Sonics

Mayor Bruce Harrell is the latest city leader to take the baton on a years-long push to bring the Seattle Sonics back to their home city.
2 months ago
Bruce Harrell...
Nick Bowman

Harrell aims to ‘hit reset’ on strained relationship between Seattle mayor, city council

In his State of the City address, Mayor Bruce Harrell highlighted his hope to repair the strained relationship between his office and Seattle City Council.
3 months ago
ktth, bryan suits...
KTTH staff

KTTH debuts ‘Bryan Suits Show’ weekday mornings

Bryan Suits returns to Seattle airwaves as part of a new lineup on AM 770 KTTH. 'The Bryan Suits Show' airs weekday mornings from 6–9 a.m.
3 months ago
pet names...
Stephanie Klein

Top dog and cat names in King County last year

King County released its 2021 list of most popular pet names and 'Bella' and 'Luna' came out on top.
4 months ago
Seattle election results, Seattle City Hall...
Nick Bowman

What Seattle can expect in new year with shakeups at city hall on the horizon

Seattle City Hall is in for a shakeup at the start of the new year, with a new mayor, councilmember, and city attorney all taking office in January.
5 months ago
unvaccinated officers Seattle...
Nick Bowman

Durkan, Seattle council engage in one final clash in closing days of mayoral term

With Jenny Durkan set to leave office in a matter of days, she and the council appear to have engaged in one final feud, this time over trees. 
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Should the cannabis industry have seen an edible ban coming?