Marijuana regulators in Washington State will entertain sweeping changes to how marijuana is tested, processed, packaged and sold in one of the U.S.’s oldest recreational marijuana markets, officials announced late Wednesday.
Recreational cannabis has been sold in regulated retail outlets in Washington since 2014. Consumers there pay one of the country’s highest tax burdens, generating nearly $400 million in revenue through the first three years of legalization, as the Stranger reported in late 2017.
But medical marijuana patients have long complained about limited product availability. And a recent string of testing labs suspended for erratic results that allowed unsafe product to reach retail shelves has shaken confidence in product safety.
“Requests from the industry have…been received regarding testing requirements, and changes in testing requirements in other states have prompted further review of WSLCB rules for potential adjustment,” the new notice from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board said. “Additionally, the WSLCB has heard from the medical marijuana patient community that they would like to see additional product types or levels of potency that are not currently supported by the regulatory structure.”
“For these reasons, changes to products, serving amounts in packaging, and other related requirements may be considered,” the regulators announced Wednesday.
Wednesday evening’s notice is the initial notification of potential rulemaking, and “no rule language is offered at this stage of the process.”
Members of the public can submit comments or proposals until October 24. No proposed rules changes are expected to be filed until “on or after October 31,” the notice said.
“Following the comment period, the agency will send out and publish the proposed rules, establish a comment period on the proposed rules, and hold a public hearing before the rules are adopted,” according to the agency.
Until then, the agency “will consider the following topics for potential rulemaking changes,” according to Wednesday’s notice:
- Lot and batch sizes;
- Fields of testing and pass/fail level adjustments;
- Potency testing requirements;
- Pesticide testing requirements for all cannabis products;
- Heavy metals testing requirements;
- Sample deduction requirements;
- General testing rule adjustments;
- Product, THC serving limits, and packaging requirements; and
- “Other related rule changes that may be necessary or advisable,” according to the notice.
Whatever “further adjustments” the agency will propose are meant to “increase efficiencies in testing” and “increase the availability of compliant [cannabis] products,” the notice said.
Anyone interested in submitting comments or proposed rules can contact Joanna Eide, Policy and Rules Coordinator, at [email protected].
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
Washington State Prepares To Rewrite Marijuana Testing And Packaging Rules
Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash
Marijuana legalization is happening all across the United States, and legalization has brought new, more convenient ways to consume cannabis. Edibles have been around since your dad was eating pot brownies at Woodstock, but today’s legal market may mystify even the most experienced users. Medical patients and recreational consumers alike may be surprised by the hundreds of edible marijuana products differing in type, taste, potency and packaging that fill up dispensary shelves today. The team at Whaxy has partnered with Medical Jane, to introduce to you this educational guide, promoting knowledgeable and responsible cannabis consumption.
There are a several important things to remember when you consume marijuana edibles to have a safe experience. For experienced marijuana consumers many of the common pitfalls may seem obvious, but consuming edibles can produce an entirely different experience than smoking. Whether it’s choosing the right product or determining the right amount to eat, novices and experts have many of the same questions.
1. What Type Of Edible Is Best?
Nearly any type of food can be infused with cannabis, as long as it contains some form of lipids (fats). The effects between different types of edibles do not vary widely, so this is mainly a question of personal preference. The most notable difference between edible types is how they are absorbed into the body.
There are two different ways in which edibles can be absorbed into the bloodstream; sublingual and gastrointestinal. The first, sublingual, is latin for “under the tongue.” This type of absorption occurs when consuming suckers, lozenges, tinctures, or hard candy. This occurs at a much faster rate than gastrointestinal absorption because the cannabinoids are able to enter directly into the bloodstream through the tissues of the mouth.
Gastrointestinal absorption does not happen until the edible has entered the digestive tract. This means it will take longer to feel the effects. This type of absorption occurs when you consume items such as brownies, cookies, baked goods, savory snacks, and drinks.
2. How Much Should I Eat?
How much depends on your past experience with marijuana. For rookies, the rule is start low and go slow. Many, including the state of Colorado, suggest a starting dosage of 10 mg. This may not seem like much for experienced smokers and those who have an high tolerance for marijuana, but everyone consuming cannabis should err on the side of caution.
The Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation recently produced the First Time Five website, which recommends only 5mg of infused edibles to ensure that no consumer, medical or recreational, has a poor experience. Remember that you can always eat more, but once it’s in your system you have to ride out the effects.
3. How Long Until They Kick In?
Unlike smoking marijuana, the effects of edibles may not be felt for up to and beyond 90 minutes. Peak effects may be delayed up to 2 hours, whereas the peak effects of smoking or vaporizing come in as little as 5-10 minutes. This is because of the way our bodies process THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
When smoked, delta-9 THC bypasses processing by the liver and directly enters our bloodstream via the lungs. When eaten, cannabis is metabolized by the liver, changing delta-9 THC into 11-hydroxy-THC. This results in a slower onset with more intense effects. The effects of the digested 11-hydroxy-THC are often described as being more psychedelic.
Planning your experience is extremely important. First and foremost, always make sure that edibles are properly labeled and stored in child-resistant containers that are kept out-of-reach. It is wise to be in a safe and controlled environment, especially for inexperienced users, as it may reduce possible feelings of anxiety.
It may be smart to set your limits before you begin and not exceed those limits. With alcohol, you might say, “I will only have one beer.” Similarly you can set your limits and stick to them. Chocolates and truffles are extremely easy to gobble up, but you have to remember that they are medicated.
Never get behind the wheel while under the influence of marijuana. A safe and comfortable environment is highly recommended and if you have to leave, use a designated driver.
Always keep non-infused snacks on hand to prevent over-consumption of your marijuana edibles due to a case of the munchies. Drink plenty of water, and do not consume on an empty stomach, as this may intensify the effects.
If you are making your own edibles, make sure to choose a strain that you are familiar with. Before cooking, determine how strong you would like each serving to be. We have created an edibles calculator that will help you determine how many milligrams will be in each serving of your homemade goodies.
Photo Credit: Zé.Valdi