Pot industry caught off guard by ban on some edibles

Leaders in Washington's legal marijuana industry said they were caught off guard by new rules banning certain pot edibles. The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board released its new ruling on Oct. 4 after admitting it had been approving products considered especially appealing to children.

The board’s list of such products includes gummy products and hard candies of any style, shape or size.

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"Getting the news this week is very scary," Craft Elixirs owner Jamie Hoffman told KIRO 7. "It's very scary for our future."

Craft Elixirs, in Seattle, has been making marijuana-infused hard candies and gummies for four years and employs 14 people.

It just got approval from the board for a new product two months ago.

All labels and products for marijuana edibles must be resubmitted.

Uncle Ike's Pot Shop owner Ian Eisenberg told KIRO 7 that the new rules caught him and others in the industry completely off guard. He said edible pot products make up about 20 percent of the shop's sales.

“And the edibles that will be banned are probably 60 percent to 70 percent of the entire edibles market,” Eisenberg said.

Marijuana edibles such as chips, beverages, baked goods and spices will still be allowed. Chocolates, caramel, cookies and mints will have restrictions.

They must be in their original color, in the shape of a bar or a ball and can’t have frosting or sprinkles.

Read the full review here.

The Washington Poison Center said that in 2017, 43 percent of marijuana poison calls were for edible products, but the center did not specify which type. See statistics on marijuana poison calls here.

Hoffman fully supports cracking down on products that appeal to children, but she says hers including the ones the board just approved, do not.

“I'm hopeful they didn't make a grievous error and approve something that I went and purchased $35,000 in in packaging for that they're going to say, ‘Oh, changed our mind' in a couple (of) weeks," Hoffman said.

The rule change goes into effect Jan. 1, and stores have until April 3 to sell the remaining inventory of banned items.

“If we lose the ability to make these candies, we'll be out of business,” Hoffman said. “There's no question about it.”

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