Recent changes in Washington cannabis laws may put an end to the cannabis-infused gummies, hard candies, and frosted cookies we’ve come to love. Arguing that such products appeal to children who might unknowingly ingest them, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) announced in early October that these products and a host of others would be prohibited starting in April 2019.
The ruling came as a surprise to manufacturers here in Washington, many of whom expressed dismay that they weren’t given more advance warning to develop new, legal products under the laws. Quoted in Marijuana Business Daily, Oliver Stannard of Green Labs, the maker of Swifts Edibles, lamented, “Losing an entire product line is devastating to small businesses.”
Washington Cannabis Laws: Is the Candy Crush Over?
Although the LCB announced that “all production of hard candy, tarts, fruit chews, colorful chocolates, jellies and any gummy type products should cease,” this doesn’t mean all cannabis-infused treats are banned. The new regulations are designed to limit products that could appeal to children, including:
- Chocolate that is coated, dipped, sprayed or painted with any type of colored shell.
- Chocolate, caramel, and fruit caramels in colors, shapes or designs that are “especially appealing to children.”
- Cookies with sprinkles or frosting.
- Colored mints. White mints or white mints with small color flecks to represent flavor will be allowed.
As a result, all cannabis-infused cookies and candies—as well as their labels—must be resubmitted for approval, and all dispensaries must sell out of their existing inventory by April 3, 2019.
With many Washington producers still in a state of shock, it’s too early to say what happens next. Some products can likely be reconfigured (although let’s face it, that buttery shortbread cookie with lemon icing on top is a lot of fun!). But others, like our ever-popular gummies, are a different matter. When an entire type of candy is suddenly banned, it takes time to brainstorm a completely new style, and then typically much longer to work out production methods and processes to ensure a delicious, consistent, and effective product each and every time.
Fight the Law
With no forewarnings provided to the industry, this measure will have wide-sweeping effects. In addition to recreational users with a sweet tooth, medical marijuana patients who rely on edibles to safely ingest cannabis in order to manage their conditions may be left without palatable options.
The new Washington edibles ruling was abrupt, and while we agree with the principle of protecting children, banning certain edibles is an overreach. Ultimately, it is up to parents to consume and store cannabis products wisely.
If, like us, you disagree with this ruling, join us to fight the law. We’ll be marching at the capital some time in either December or January to encourage lawmakers to retract the edibles ban.
If you can’t make it, reach out to lawmakers to share how this ruling will affect you and your loved ones:
- Contact the LCB
- Contact Governor Jay Inslee online or call 360-902-4111
- Contact Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodard via email
Your voice matters! Make sure it’s heard.