Regarding public safety and regulating cannabinoids

The Washington CannaBusiness Association advocated in support of prioritizing public safety and a scientific approach regarding the efforts to regulate all the cannabinoids that are found in cannabis during the 2022 Legislative Session. The Senate Ways & Means Committee advanced legislation in the closing days of Session that would have supported enforcement efforts to prohibit the sale of THC products outside of the regulated market and establish a panel of scientists to make recommendations to the Legislature on how best to regulate the processing and sale of cannabinoids in the regulated marketplace. While it is unfortunate that bill did not advance further, we are thankful for the bipartisan effort to bring more certainty and transparency for consumers and regulated businesses alike. Fortunately, the Liquor and Cannabis Board, Attorney General, local health departments and law enforcement already have existing authority to take enforcement action against those who are illegally selling THC products outside of the legal marketplace, which is of grave concern for public safety as these products are untested, unregulated and easily accessible by minors. In addition, widely available products in convenience stores and online like gummy bears and other food items with any form of hemp-derivatives are already illegal under existing law. We encourage the Liquor and Cannabis Board to take action and look ahead to the work to adopt laws and implement regulations that prioritize public safety and allow local cannabis businesses to continue to offer products that are transparent to the consumer and regulator.

On the existing state and federal prohibition against gummy bears and other food items with any form of hemp-derivatives:
  • Hemp and hemp extracts are currently prohibited under state and federal law to be used in food. This would include things like gummy bears.
  • Under RCW 69.07.220 it is clear that until hemp extracts are allowable as a food ingredient under federal law, hemp extracts cannot be added to food
  • This means that the state has the authority to enforce against persons selling any food product with any hemp extract right now
  • This is reiterated in RCW 15.140.040: State's hemp plan. ( giving the WSDA the ability to regulate hemp food products once they are allowable under federal law
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