For many cannabis connoisseurs, one of the best parts of visiting any dispensary is taking a look at their selection of edibles. Since the onset of legalization, many Washington edibles brands have innovated all kinds of cannabis-infused products, from sodas to cookie dough. Indeed, there has never been a better time to be a Washington edibles enthusiast.
Recently, however, regulations in the Washington cannabis market have been updated to prevent the sale of certain edible products. While these new regulations are proving cumbersome to consumers and businesses alike, they are intended to produce a safer climate for overall cannabis consumption. Here’s what you need to know about what’s new in Washington cannabis law.
Washington Edibles: Most Cannabis Candies Have Been Banned
As any dispensary customer knows, edible shelves are usually packed with an assortment of infused candies, including gumballs, gummies, and fruit chews. Under previous Washington cannabis regulations, these products were approved for general consumption, but re-evaluation has caused the Washington State Cannabis and Liquor Board to classify most cannabis candies as unsafe due to their appeal to children.
Washington edibles suppliers have until April 3, 2019, to either sell the rest of their inventory or to get rid of it, after which it will be banned for sale. Any gummy, hard candy, tart, or chew of any type will not be allowed on the market, cutting into a market that comprises nearly 9% of Washington cannabis sales. In addition, colorful or candy-coated chocolates, mints, and caramels are also not permitted for production, and chocolates that are allowed for sale must follow additional packaging and labeling requirements.
Some Baked Goods Are Affected Too
If you’re a fan of sprinkles or frosting, you might be out of luck, as baked items topped with either will not make it to market under new regulations. That means any cookies, cupcakes, or brownies that make use of frosting (oftentimes an infused product itself). Essentially, Washington edible regulators want edible products to look as bland as possible to avoid the possibility of being mistaken for a common sugar cookie or sour apple ring.
The sudden decision came at a completely unexpected time for Washington edible companies, completely changing the landscape of the Washington cannabis confectionary industry almost overnight. While the new regulations are almost certain to take a toll on many established manufacturers of edible products, the April 2019 enforcement date gives businesses some leeway to be able to rework their assortment of products. Many businesses that specialize in solely cannabis candies, however, will likely be forced to shut down completely.
For the average cannabis consumer, the only difference in your dispensary experience will be the absence of colorful candy and bland packaging replacing the once colorful and evocative paper or plastic that once accompanied certain cookies or chocolate bars. As the decision takes its toll on small businesses, though, expect pressure to be applied to the Washington State Cannabis and Liquor Board to reverse some of their new regulations — or at least, loosen them to prevent the destruction of an entire market.
If you feel strongly about edibles, contact your state representative about the ban.