A bipartisan group of influential state legislators today asked the Liquor And Cannabis Board (LCB) to "reconsider the announced ban" on infused candies, according to a letter I just obtained.
The letter takes issue with both the proposed candy ban and with how the LCB has gone about the process.
"We are concerned about the WSLCB announcement, without warning, that a significant segment of legal cannabis-infused products were to be immediately banned from production. No regulated industry can survive when rulemaking is unpredictable," the letter reads.
The letter was signed by two Republicans, Sen. Ann Rivers and Rep. Brandon Vick, and two Democrats, Sen. Guy Palumbo and Rep. Sharon Wylie. It was signed with today's date.
The LCB announced earlier this month that they would suddenly ban all infused hard candy, tarts, fruit chews, colorful chocolates, jellies and gummies because they were concerned that the previously-approved infused candies were too enticing to children. The industry immediately protested, and the LCB has since put in a 30-day delay on the ban while they take in more public comment.
The four state legislators said this proposed delay does not alleviate the pain the LCB has caused with their sudden announcement.
"However, the 30-day delay still leaves the industry in a significant precarious state with multiple deadlines looming, jobs at risk and future uncertain. We urge you to re-evaluate your deadlines," the letter states.
The LCB's sudden ban has united more than just Republicans and Democrats, it has also united all three of the state's largest cannabis trade unions. The trade groups, in what they said was their first joint letter, said the new candy ban went against the existing evidence that pot legalization has not increased youth use.
"And we are further encouraged that in September 2017, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy found that 'across grades 6, 8, 10, and 12, cannabis use indicators have been stable or fallen slightly since I-502 enactment.' Regulations benefit from refinement, and we should approach future mandates on these topics with real data," their letter stated.
The four state legislators pointed to the same report in their letter (even borrowing the regulations "benefit from refinement" line).
The LCB is still in a holding pattern concerning this candy ban, with proposals for compromised rules due to the state in November. Will the LCB maintain its outright ban on an entire category of products that it previously had approved? Four state legislators might be able to convince them to change their mind.