The announcement came from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (“LCB”) during a recent meeting.
The LCB reevaluated its stance on marijuana candies finding that infused candies are “especially appealing to children.” The LCB’s regulations (WAC 314-55-077(7)) prohibit processors from creating products that appeal to children. The LCB claims that its new policy is intended to comply with this provision.
Going forward, the following products are prohibited:
- Candy – hard candy (of any style, shape or size) and tarts.
- Fruit chews, jellies and all gummy type products.
The new LCB policy will also impact other products. The following infused products are allowed “with limitation on appearance”:
What does “limitation on appearance” mean? The LCB provides some examples:
- Chocolate in its original color and not coated, dipped, sprayed or painted with any type of color.
- Chocolate in the shape of a bar or ball. No shape or design that is especially appealing to children.
- Caramel and fruit caramels. No color, shape or design that is especially appealing to children.
- Cookies that do not contain sprinkles or frosting.
- Mints that have no color (white or white with small color fleck to represent the flavor only).
Finally, the LCB lists the following “allowable infused products”:
- Baked Goods
- Chips and Crackers
- Sauces and Spices
Though the LCB has categorized the above products, it still will consider whether any product is especially appealing to children. In making that determination, the LCB examines the appearance, the similarity to products that are marketed towards children, and color. Our Seattle office knows all too well how difficult it can be to determine exactly what the LCB will approve, given these highly subjective criteria.
If you are a Washington marijuana processor, you may have seen this coming. The LCB has been pushing back on many products based on the “especially appealing to children” limitation, signaling that more stringent policies were on the horizon. The LCB now recommends that processors cease all production of hard candy, tarts, fruit chews, colorful chocolates, jellies, and gummies, because they will not be approved. Licensees are allowed to sell their products until inventory is depleted or April 3, 2019, whichever comes first.