Sarah Climaco

Washington Cannabis Industry Unites Against Candy Ban

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board passed sudden rules recently banning infused hard candy, tarts, fruit chews, jellies, and other gummy style products.

The Board insisted all retail shops must be clear of the banned products by April 3, 2019. According to the LCB, the products were banned for being particularly attractive to children.

In a show of solidarity opposing the ban, top-ranking members from three major Washington cannabis advocacy organizations released a joint statement vigorously opposing the ban. The statement, issued by Washington CannaBusiness Association Executive Director Vicki Christophersen, The Cannabis Alliance Executive Director Lara Kaminsky, and the Cannabis Organization of Retail Establishments Executive Director Brooke Davies, is the first of its kind for the state.

“The Washington cannabis industry is and always has been committed to keeping cannabis products out of the hands of children, a fundamental expectation of the public and the most foundational element of the law. Our members have a successful track record of working with lawmakers, regulators and the public to build a successful cannabis industry that creates jobs and upholds rules that protect children. Given our history of cooperation and collaboration with the LCB, we were surprised and disappointed by the LCB’s abrupt, unilateral decision to ban previously LCB-approved cannabis infused sweetened products.” — Excerpt from Washington advocacy groups’ joint statement

The statement concludes by citing a study by the Washington State Policy Institute — the state legislature’s think tank — which found there was no increase in cannabis use among Washington youth since adult-use cannabis was legalized.

According to that study, “Pot use by students in [Grades 6, 8, 10 and 12] was stable or has fallen slightly since I-502 was enacted.”

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