Washington cannabis regulator approves new marijuana candy regulations

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Good news edible fans: Washington state will not ban pot-infused candies and gummies after all. But there will be some changes coming to the treats.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board finalized a policy on Wednesday which limits the colors and shapes that edibles can have, but doesn't forbid pot-infused candies, like an earlier policy did.

As expected, the new rules stipulate that pot companies to avoid bright colors, working instead with a "standard pantone color book that sets the list of colors and specified ranges within those colors" for both product and packaging.

There will also be limits on the shapes, with exceptions for things like non-profit collaborations or naturally-occurring colors.

WSLCB said that the official color list and other materials will be available in January.

Ahead of their formal announcement, LCB released a memo that reviewed the process of the past few months, including draft policy decisions that outlines the proposed regulations. The document also outlined the implementation for the policy, which the LCB expects to take about 10 months once the new requirements are adopted and standard operating procedures are in place.

During that time, retailers would have nine months to sell off existing inventory. Anything remaining after that time (assuming it's not expired and meets the new rules) should be allowed to be re-labeled and re-sold.

Currently, the LCB expects all edible makers will have to resubmit their products for approval by January 2020.

This is a boost to organizations like Washington CannaBusiness Association, one of the handful trade groups in the state that opposed the state's action on candies.

"We applaud the Liquor and Cannabis Board for their careful re-evaluation of their announcement earlier this year regarding cannabis-infused edibles," Vicki Christophersen, executive director of the Washington CannaBusiness Association, said in a statement earlier this month.

"The agency's new interim policy decision, informed by the input of bipartisan elected leaders and regulated industry representatives, provides a transparent review and approval process going forward for safe, quality-controlled products for adult and medicinal use. Our shared goal is to support the long-term viability of our state's cannabis marketplace while also keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors."

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