Four years after Florida voters approved the legalization of medical marijuana, edible marijuana products can finally be sold in the state. On Wednesday night, the Florida Department of Health, which oversees the state Office of Medical Marijuana, quietly published emergency rules for edible medical marijuana products. This opens the road for the legal sale of edibles down the line, albeit with some restrictions.
The rules are what you would expect from a medical marijuana state. The edibles must be a geometrical shape and can be sold as lozenges, chocolate, drink powder, gelatins, or baked goods. However, the emergency rules state that medical marijuana edibles cannot contain any color additives whether natural or artificial, cannot bear a ‘reasonable resemblance to commercially available candy’, cannot be decorated with icing, sprinkles or other toppings of any kind, and can’t be a primary or bright color.
Additionally, the rules state that edibles cannot bear any markings, symbols, images, words, or graphics other than the universal symbols used to mark edibles. Most of these conditions are meant to avoid accidental ingestion of the edibles by children. According to the emergency rules, “edibles shall be produced in a manner to minimize color intensity and other color and visual characteristics attractive to children.”
This is in line with the 2017 law that gave the state Department of Health authority to “determine by rule any shapes, forms and ingredients allowed and prohibited for edibles” to prevent children from consuming them. The law further stated that the products may not be “manufactured in the shape of humans, cartoons, or animals, in a form that bears any resemblance to products available for consumption as commercially available candy or contain any color additive.”
Despite all these limitations, CBD sellers are happy and raring to go. According to Liz Conway, Florida’s president for Atlanta-based company Parallel, “this is very significant, both for our customers and our business.” The Atlanta-based company is looking to sell edibles in the state at their Surterra Wellness dispensaries. “Florida’s medical cannabis patients have been waiting for the arrival of edibles, not only for dosing convenience, but for the extended relief that comes with ingesting medical cannabis.”
Companies that are interested in selling edibles in the state will have to be approved by the Florida Department of Health as well as receive an inspection of their food manufacturing facilities and receive a food safety certification from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It is unclear how soon edibles will hit the shelves.
The expansion of the products that patients using medical marijuana can access in the state is likely to please industry players like Pure Extracts Corp. even if they aren’t directly active in Florida.
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