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Legalization Status

Marijuana (2)

Decriminalized since 2012

Medical Marijuana (1)

Medical since 1998

Coffee Shop (1)

Recreational since 2012

Washington Governing Body Information

1200px-Seal_of_Washington.svg
WA2

Washington State Not for Kids Symbol.

WA

Washington State Universal Symbol for Cannabis.

2019 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update

Although Washington has decriminalized marijuana since 2012 and has offered medical marijuana since 1998, the laws on the labeling and packaging of marijuana products leave a lot of unanswered questions for growers and retailers of marijuana.

The following section outlines labeling and packaging laws for marijuana edibles.

Labels for Marijuana

  • Universal Symbols must be attached to edibles
  • Use of pesticides in marijuana must be disclosed on label
  • Labels must disclose product information such as risk factors associated with consumption
  • Servings must be defined on labels (Washington defines serving as 10mg)
  • Packaging of products that may appeal to children (gummies, candies, lollipops, cookies) are prohibited
  • Edibles must state on label that marijuana has intoxicating effects and that it is against the law to drive while intoxicated
  • On edible labels, the label must state that consumer may not feel the effects of THC intoxicant until 2 hours or more after consumption of product
  • Edible label must state: “there may be health risks associated with consumption of this product” (Packaging and Labeling Requirements, Wash. Admin. Code 314-55-105, 2016)
  • No requirement on specific health risks that have to be disclosed
  • Accompanying material that lists warnings and risks associated with consumption of edibles must be distributed along with edible product that is sold
  • Edibles must list product ingredients
  • Label must state “this product contains marijuana”
  • No requirement to list nutritional information
  • Edible products must contain information about expiry or “best by” date

2018 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update

While Washington made possession of cannabis a crime in the 1920s, the laws were rarely enforced. When cannabis became more common in the 1960s, Washington relaxed the possession laws. As far as medical marijuana, Washington citizens took legalization into their own hands by taking the issues to court and even with one physician directly giving homegrown cannabis to his patients. Washington legalized medical marijuana in 1998 and became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012.

While Washington was the first state to legalize recreational cannabis, there are still penalties for possessing large amounts. Possessing more than 1oz of marijuana in the Evergreen State results in a misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum sentence of 24 hours, more than 40g is a felony. Selling or growing any amount of marijuana is a felony.

Cannabis Laws in Washington

The Washington Medical Marijuana Program has a pretty standard system for registering patients and caregivers, overseeing medical professionals, and licensing dispensaries. Qualifying diseases for a medical cannabis card include HIV/AIDS, traumatic brain injury, cancer, and more. Medical marijuana patients are allowed grow to possess specific amounts of medical marijuana in various forms, including concentrates and liquids. These rules can be appealed by a medical professional. Recreational legalization relaxed all these laws and applied them to all adults over 21 years of age.

Retail Cannabis Business Rules in Washington

Cannabis packaging and retail laws are very detailed and specific in the Washington Administrative Code, even breaking packaging regulations down by type of product. In general, plant products must be packaged in tamper-proof, non-reactive, and child proof. Liquid products must be packaged in materials of a certain thickness. State warning labels also must be applied, so packaging should leave room for such.

2017 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update

Since the Evergreen State’s Medical Marijuana Program has been around for a while, they have developed very detailed instructions for cannabis businesses in the state in regards to labeling and packaging their products. While packaging doesn’t have many regulations, it’s always a good idea to find discreet, secure, and child-resistant packaging for your medical marijuana product

As far as labeling, they require many warnings (quoted below) about the risks associated with using cannabis, as well as information about the cannabis itself. However, they just say that this material must accompany the product, not that it necessarily has to be fixed to the package. The actual labels attached to whole flower marijuana products must contain information about the strain, the harvest date, and a couple warnings about cannabis. The labels for cannabis edibles require similar information in addition to ingredients and other food handling information.

“(10) Labels must comply with the version of NIST Handbook 130, Uniform Packaging and Labeling Regulation adopted in chapter 16-662 WAC.

(11) All usable marijuana, when sold at retail, must include accompanying material that contains the following warnings that state:

(a) “Warning: This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health”;

(b) “There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product”;

(c) “Should not be used by women that are pregnant or breastfeeding”;

(d) “For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of reach of children”;

(e) “Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug”;

(f) A statement that discloses all pesticides applied to the marijuana plants and growing medium during production and processing.

(12) All marijuana concentrates and marijuana-infused products sold at retail must include accompanying material that contains the following warnings that state:

(a) “There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product”;

(b) “This product is infused with marijuana or active compounds of marijuana”;

(c) “Should not be used by women that are pregnant or breastfeeding”;

(d) “For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of reach of children”;

(e) “Products containing marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug”;

(f) “Caution: When eaten or swallowed, the intoxicating effects of this drug may be delayed by two or more hours”;

(g) Statement that discloses all pesticides applied to the marijuana plants and growing medium during production of the base marijuana used to create the extract added to the infused product; and

(h) A statement that discloses the type of extraction method, including any solvents, gases, or other chemicals or compounds used to produce or that are added to the extract.

(13) Labels affixed to the container or package containing usable marijuana sold at retail must include:

(a) The business or trade name and Washington state unified business identifier number of the licensees that produced, processed, and sold the usable marijuana. The marijuana retail licensee trade name and Washington state unified business identifier number may be in the form of a sticker placed on the label;

(b) Inventory ID number assigned by the liquor control board’s traceability system. This must be the same number that appears on the transport manifest;

(c) Concentration of THC (total THC and activated THC-A) and CBD;

(d) Net weight in ounces and grams or volume as appropriate;

(e) Warnings that state: “This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming”;

(f) Statement that “This product may be unlawful outside of Washington state”;

(g) Date of harvest; and

(h) The board may create a logo that must be placed on all usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products.

(15) Labels affixed to the container or package containing marijuana-infused products sold at retail must include:

(a) The business or trade name and Washington state unified business identifier number of the licensees that produced, processed, and sold the marijuana. The marijuana retail licensee trade name and Washington state unified business identifier number may be in the form of a sticker placed on the label;

(b) Inventory ID number assigned by the liquor control board’s traceability system. This must be the same number that appears on the transport manifest;

(c) Date manufactured;

(d) Best by date;

(e) Products meant to be eaten or swallowed, recommended serving size and the number of servings contained within the unit, including total milligrams of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or Delta 9;

(f) Net weight in ounces and grams, or volume as appropriate;

(g) List of all ingredients and major food allergens as defined in the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004;

(h) “Caution: When eaten or swallowed, the intoxicating effects of this drug may be delayed by two or more hours.”;

(i) If a marijuana extract was added to the product, disclosure of the type of extraction process and any solvent, gas, or other chemical used in the extraction process, or any other compound added to the extract;

(j) Warnings that state: “This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming”;

(k) Statement that “This product may be unlawful outside of Washington state”;

(l) The board may create a logo that must be placed on all usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products.

(17) Labels affixed to the container or package containing marijuana concentrates sold at retail must include:

(a) The business or trade name and Washington state unified business identifier number of the licensees that produced, processed, and sold the marijuana concentrate. The marijuana retail licensee trade name and Washington state unified business identifier may be in the form of a sticker placed on the label;

(b) Inventory ID number assigned by the liquor control board traceability system. This must be the same number that appears on the transportation manifest;

(c) Date manufactured;

(d) Best by date;

(e) Net weight in ounces and grams, or volume as appropriate;

(f) If a marijuana extract was added to the product, disclosure of the type of extraction process and any solvent, gas, or other chemical used in the extraction process, or any other compound added to the extract;

(g) Concentration of THC (total Delta 9 and Delta 9 THC-A) and CBD;

(h) Warnings that state “This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming”;

(i) Statement that “This product may be unlawful outside Washington state”; and

(j) The board may create a logo that must be placed on all usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products.”

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