BREAKING: WSLCB Drastically Changes Marijuana Infused Edibles Policy

On Tuesday, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) held its regularly-scheduled board meeting where they dropped a bombshell: a large quantity of marijuana infused edibles that have already been approved for production and sale in Washington will no longer be approved. When this new policy is implemented––it will be a part of rules changes effective January 1, 2019––processors will be directed to immediately cease production of disqualified edibles. Retailers will be permitted to sell through their existing inventory until April 3, 2019, at which point all disqualified edibles will be required to be destroyed pursuant to state code. The WSLCB cited concerns brought by itself, stakeholders, and the general public that these products are too appealing to children.

WSLCB staffers presenting explained that in response to these concerns, the WSLCB 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.”

I.       Products Allowed

The WSLCB decided that the following products will no longer qualify under the revised rules:

  • Hard candy and tarts of any style, shape, or size
  • Fruit chews, jellies, and all gummy type products

Infused edibles that would remain allowable include:

  • Beverages
  • Baked goods
  • Capsules
  • Chips and crackers
  • Sauces and spices
  • Tinctures

The following would be allowed with limitations on appearance:

  • Chocolate
  • Cookies
  • Caramels
  • Mints

    Hard candies will be banned; chocolate will generally be allowed.

These limitations mean chocolate, mints or caramels in their original color (and not coated with any color) would be allowed, along with chocolate in the shape of a bar or ball, but with no shape or design “especially appealing to children.”

The phrase “especially appealing to children” is directly pulled from WAC 314-55-077 and is found elsewhere in the administrative code. I also personally worked on research on this subject when I directed the UW Law’s Cannabis Law & Policy Project over two years ago.

II.       An Inconsistent Policy

It is astonishing that the WSLCB is changing course on their current policy to further restrict edibles six years after cannabis was legalized in Washington. How many companies have relied on the WSLCB’s approval of their products only to discover that their products are no longer legal? This policy shift will further damage an already struggling industry. As California and Canada implement their own legalization policies, business owners will increasingly seek out markets with less draconian regulations. Many of us working with this industry fear that Washington––initially seen as a leader on legalization––will be left behind as other states and countries adopt more commonsense regulations.

The operative question I have is, how are hard candies and fruit chews especially appealing to children, but chocolate and cookies are not? Industry insiders agree: “I’m concerned that whole categories of products are being tossed out categorically. I don’t see how a chew is inherently more enticing to a child than a cookie. Children love cookies,” says Logan Bowers, owner of Hashtag Cannabis.

The new policy is in response to supposed increased concern from the WSLCB itself and the public, but where exactly is the concern? And of those concerned, isn’t chocolate and baked goods just as concerning as hard candies? The new policy is entirely inconsistent.

III.       More Information

Baked goods will be allowed; hard candies will not.

The WSLCB will host a webinar on October 16, 2018 to answer questions regarding this policy. A link to register will be available at If you are in the industry, you might consider taking part.

A full video of the meeting is available here, along with the PowerPoint presentation. A transcript will be available by Cannabis Observer.

UPDATE: Seattle Times has just picked up on this information, and published their own article. Read more here.

Cultiva Law

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog is considered an advertisement under CA law. The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Cultiva Law, PLLC or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Contact Us For A Consultation

Call (888) 896-3313 or fill out the form below: