The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) announced that it will pubish its formal recommendations for marijuana-infused edible products on November 28, 2018. The WSLCB adopted new packaging and labeling requirements that go into effect on January 1, 2019. The staff of the WSLCB gave a presentation during an October 3, 2018 meeting, which outlined an approach for determining whether certain edible products such as gummies should be deemed attractive to children and rejected. The WSLCB granted the industry’s request for a 30-day time out until recommendations and public input could be provided. The staff has indicated that it will be prepared to present formal recommendations as it has received the industry’s recommendations and public intput.
The Washington State Liquor and Control Board (WSLCB) will hold a caucus meeting today at which Brooke Davies, from the Cannabis Organization of Retail Establishments (CORE) will provide an industry presentation on edibles. The industry participation at this meeting is imperative as the staff of the WSLCB has indicated that it will review edible products as a part of the implementation of the new packaging and labeling rules that are effective on January 1, 2019 to ensure that they are not attractive to children. The WSLCB is performing this review as a result of concerns about marijuana infused candies that were raised by stakeholders and the public. Washington’s current rules, and generally rules in most states, prohibit the sale of edibles that could be attractive to children including products such as dummies, lollipops or other brightly colored candy.
Next week there will be 9 cannabis related regulatory meetings being held by 7 states. Below is a list of the meetings with a brief description. Click here to access our regulatory events calendar, which includes further details including agendas, draft regulations, dial in information and web access if available.
1) Colorado - October 16, 2018 - Public Meeting on Medical and Recreational Marijuana Permanent Rules. The Marijuana Enforcement Division will hold a formal hearing on the permanent rules that will govern the cannabis industry.
2) Michigan - October 18th and 29th, 2018 - Meeting to approve additional dispensary licensees ahead of the October 31st deadline, which will force establishments that are not approved to cease operations or face criminal investigations.
3) Washington - October 16, 2018 - The WSLCB is holding a meeting to review restrictions to the manufacturing and sale of marijuana infused candy that might be attractive to children. The WSLCB will approve the labels and edible products ahead of the January 1st effective date of the packaging and labeling requirements.
5) Alaska - October 16th and 17th, 2018 - The MCB is meeting to review rules proposals, adoptions and enforcement proceedings.
6) North Dakota - October 16, 2018 - The Medical Marijuana Advisory Board will meet to receive a program update on manufacturing facilities, dispensaries and the qualifying patient and designated caregiver applications.
7) California - October 17, 2018 - The Cannabis Controls Appeal Panel will meet to discuss the draft regulations for appeal procedures and timelines.
8) Massachusetts - October 18, 2018 - The Cannabis Control Commission will be meeting.
The Oklahoma Legislature’s working group on the medical marijuana implementation voted unanimously to provide the Department of Health with recommendations for drafting regulations to govern the independent testing of marijuana, extracts and concentrates. The recommendations also address packaging/labeling requirements and prohibit candy-like edibles that may be attractive to children.
The independent testing laboratory recommendations requires labs, except those with provisional approval to be accredited by a qualified third party organization. Labs with provisional approval must attest to the fact that they comply with ANSI/ASQ protocol, and will seek accreditation. The recommendations contain standard provisions requiring employee registration identification cards, standards for the testing facility and a one year license that may be renewed within 30 days of expiration.
The standards for sampling, scope of tests, and standards for usable marijuana, extracts and concentrates are in line with other states. Labs must adopt operating procedures that outline, among other things, the lab’s the sampling procedures, chain of custody protocol, and testing methodologies However, Oklahoma’s recommendations allow for the remediation and retesting for certain test failures including microbiological, residual solvent, moisture content and foreign materials. Batches that fail residual pesticide, heavy metals or mycotoxin testing may not be remediated and must be destroyed.
Separately, the Oklahoma State Department of Health established a Food Safety Standards Board that issued draft rule language that sets forth food safety standards for processors. The scope of the draft rules is limited to establishing specific safety standards and testing requirements for food that contains marijuana.
The recommendations also include packaging / labeling requirements that require medical marijuana labels to include, after May 19th, information regarding the potency of the marijuana or marijuana products including concentrates. The labels must contain warning language regarding dangers of using the product, and a specific warning must be displayed if the marijuana has not been tested. The packaging requirements are similar to proposals by other states such as Oregon to prescribe the size, font type and information that must be contained on the principal display panel.
The recommendations also prohibit the manufacture or selling of gummy bears, worms, lollipops, human, animal or fruit shapes or other product that might be attractive to children. Again, Oklahoma is following other states such as Washington that are cracking down on edibles that resemble children’s candy.
The Oklahoma Food Safety Board issued draft food safety rules for processors that produce edible marijuana products. The regulations require processors to follow existing Oklahoma food safety laws and regulations. In addition to existing regulations, there are additional requirements around labeling and packaging as well as recommended testing procedures. Oklahoma recommends that processors establish written minimal thresholds for the presence of biological, physical and chemical contaminants. Like Michigan, Oklahoma rules provide that edibles should be tested for E. coli, Samonella, yeast, molds, chemical residue, metals and pesticide residue, and potency. Labels and packaging must indicate the list of ingredients including the list of marijuana ingredients including the batch of marijuana.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis board requested public comment on two rule proposals by October 3, 2018. The rule proposals implement legislative changes that occurred during 2017 and 2018 sessions, and incorporate technical changes (links below).
During 2018, the Washington State legislature enacted the following laws:
Financial Services. The law states that financial service providers are not violating Washington law by entering into financial transactions (i.e., deposits, extending credit, conducting funds transfers, transporting cash) with commercial cannabis businesses.
Marijuana Product Container Labels - Business Information. The law mandates the placement of labels on marijuana containers that contain the unified buisiness identifier number of the marijuana producer and processor.
Use of Cannaboid Additives in Marijuana Products. The law provides that marijuana producers and processors that use a cannaboid additive in marijuana products must obtain the cannaboid additive product from a licensed producer or processor unless the CBD product has (1) less a THC level of 0.3 percent or less on a dry weight basis, and (2) been lawfully tested for contaminants and toxins.
2018 Cannabis Legislation Implementation Rules
During 2017, the Washington State legislature enacted the following laws:
Marijuana Lock Boxes. The law allows retail outlets to provide customers with a free marijuana lock box. The retail outlet cannot use the lock box as an inducement for a sale.
Sanitary Processing of Edibles. The law provides the Department of Agriculture with authority to regulate the sanitary processing of edibles.
Marijuana License Fee. The law imposes a $480 additional fee to license applications and renewals. The fee is being used to pay for the traceability system.
Various Changes. The law contains amendments that address privileges for research licenses, local authority notifications, the retail licensing merit-based application process, certain transfers of plants and seeds, licensing agreements and contracts, advertising, and jurisdictional requirements.
2017 Cannabis Legislation and Technical Housekeeping Rules
Michigan published guidance outlining examples of edibles that are and are not permissible under the MMFLA. The bulletin also indicates that only a processor may produce edibles that do not require refrigeration for safety. The department also requires processors to retain proof that shelf stable, perishable food products have been treated by heat and/or dried to to destroy foodborne microorganisms that can cause illness or spoil food.
The list of permissible non-refrigerated edible examples include:
• Breads, cookies, muffins and cakes
• Cooked fruit pies, including pie crusts made with butter, lard or shortening
• Fruit jams and jellies (as defined in 21 CFR part 150) in glass jars that can be stored at
room temperature (except vegetable and other non-fruit-based jams/jellies)
• Confections and sweets (made without alcohol)
• Dry herbs, herb mixtures, dip and soup mixes
• Popcorn, granola, coated/uncoated nuts, dehydrated vegetables and fruits
• Chocolate covered pretzels, marshmallows, graham crackers and cereal bars
• Dried pasta made with or without eggs
• Roasted coffee beans or ground roasted coffee
• Vinegars and flavored vinegars
The list of edible examples requiring proof of additional processing to be shelf stable include:
• Salad dressings
• Sauces and condiments, including barbeque sauce, hot sauce, ketchup and mustard
• All beverages, including fruit/vegetable juices, Kombucha tea and apple cider
• Canned pickled products like corn relish, pickles and sauerkraut
• Canned fruits and vegetables like salsa and canned peaches
The list of non-permissible edibles examples include:
• Garlic in oil mixtures
• Ice and ice products including ice cream
• Pies/cakes that require refrigeration (banana cream, pumpkin, lemon meringue, custard)
• Cheesecake and cakes with glaze and/or frosting that requires refrigeration
• Vegetable jams/jellies such as hot pepper jelly
• Milk and dairy products like butter, cheese and yogurt
• Canned fruit or vegetable butters like pumpkin and apple butter
• Focaccia style breads with fresh vegetables and/or cheeses
• Meat and meat products like fresh and dried meats (jerky)
• Fish and fish products like smoked fish
• Cut melons
• Caramel apples
• Cut tomatoes and chopped/shredded leafy greens
• Products made from fresh cut tomatoes, cut melons and cut leafy greens
• Products made with cooked vegetable products that are not canned