The state Liquor Control Board (LCB) on Wednesday detailed the process for approving the packaging and labeling of marijuana edibles, laying out the final regulatory step for processors to get their products approved for stores.
Processors must submit photos of their products, packaging and labels to the LCB. Edibles with more than one serving must be scored and labeled to indicate individual serving sizes; labels must say, “This product contains marijuana,” and products must be homogenized — so the marijuana’s chemical compounds are spread evenly throughout.
After labels and packaging are approved, said LCB spokesman Mikhail Carpenter, products must be lab-tested for concentration and homogenization.
Carpenter said the agency would begin the approval process as soon as processors were ready.
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Wednesday’s update follows the LCB’s emergency ruling last month that greatly restricted the kind of edibles that could be produced and sold.
Among the rules:
• No products designed to appeal to children;
• No products that require temperature control to keep safe for human consumption;
• No dairy products;
• No pies that contain egg;
• No fruit or vegetable juices or butters;
• No foods that have to be acidified or canned for preservation.
The rules preclude pot-infused gummy bears or cotton candy, because they might appeal to kids. Ice cream wouldn’t be allowed because it requires temperature control and is a dairy product. Marijuana-infused butter could be used to create other products, but it won’t be sold on its own.
Don’t expect edibles on shelves soon. Only three edibles companies have passed a kitchen inspection, Carpenter said. Two of those don’t have licenses yet from the LCB.
Patrick Devlin, who co-owns the licensed and inspected processor, DB³, said he doesn’t expect his company to bring a product to market until late this summer.
“We’re shooting for the end of August to the early part of September,” he said, though he said operations smaller than DB³ could make it to market faster at a much smaller scale.
Devlin says DB³, a 25,000-square-foot operation in Sodo, will produce three types of products: concentrated marijuana drops or drink additives, single-serving energy shots and small meltaways or chew treats.
Devlin said his company wasn’t affected by the LCB’s emergency rule-making a month ago because DB³ focused on developing small-dose products from the beginning.
“The concern around edibles is people eating too much from a manufacturer who will put a large dose into something that’s a single serving like a cookie or a brownie,” Devlin said. “With concentrated drops, everything can be scaled to what the consumer wants.”
Meanwhile, many potential edibles manufacturers are waiting to get started. Tim Moxey, who founded the energy-drink company Nuun, said he applied for a processing license and has contractors at work on a commercial production facility in Sodo. He says he’s waiting to hear from the LCB about his license.
“I just want to get out of the gate,” said Moxey. “They’re trying to do a big thing — as long as it gets going, that’s what it matters.”
Evan Bush: 206-464-2253 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On twitter: @evanbush.