WASHINGTON: Marijuana-infused edibles began trickling to store shelves in Washington state last month, and the sweets, snacks and drinks offer a glimpse of a diverse and maturing marketplace on the horizon — one rife with concerns for consumers and regulators.
Statewide pot-supply shortages slowed the edibles’ arrival, but manufacturers also were stifled, and frustrated, by emergency regulations from the state Liquor Control Board (LCB), which has taken a cautious approach to opening the marketplace.
Nine more kitchens have been approved by the Washington Department of Agriculture, but the LCB hasn’t yet signed off on their products.
Although eager entrepreneurs have bemoaned the LCB’s pace, Washington has benefited from watching Colorado deal with unexpected concerns and high demand for edibles. It also avoided national scrutiny after media seized on cautionary tales about edibles. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd visited Colorado, ate marijuana candy, and wrote that it left her in an eight-hour “hallucinatory state” in which she was “panting and paranoid.”