When the first sales of legal recreational marijuana took place in Washington state this July, there were no edible products in sight. Due to a stringent oversight process put in place by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, no kitchens had been approved for churning out legal pot brownies or THC-infused oils or other green goodies.
That changed at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday night when Al Olson, the marijuana editor of CNBC.com, purchased the first approved edibles, spending about $200 on products like Green Chief “Crazy Carnival Nuts,” “420 Party Mix,” and “Twisted Trail Mix," as well as one vaporizer pen and "vape" pen battery. The historic sale took place in Bellingham, Wash., at a store called Top Shelf Cannabis, which was also the first to market with marijuana leaf sales.
The Board, put in charge of implementing the legal marijuana market, had the benefit of watching Colorado start up its marijuana market first. The state experienced issues with children accidentally ingesting marijuana edibles and then proposed more stringent rules about label packaging at the end of July. If approved, rules like putting certain edibles in child-resistant packaging will go into effect Nov. 1.
In June, the Washington Board adopted emergency rules requiring its approval for every edible product, including its packaging and labeling, before being put on store shelves. Products containing more than one serving had to be marked to show serving sizes, a rule Colorado is also considering to help combat accidental overconsumption by inexperienced THC consumers.
"Knowing the rest of the country is scrutinizing every move Washington makes in the space, there was no way this process could have been done quicker," said industry expert Ata Gonzalez, who makes products like cannabis-infused chocolate at GFarmaLabs in California."It’s great way the industry, and state laws allowing marijuana use, can display a certain level of responsibility in such a volatile environment."