California Edibles: Regulations are a Work-in-Process

Marijuana edibles are one of the fastest growing marijuana product categories in California. Even though we do not yet know exactly how they and other infused products will be regulated under California's MMRSA, we can be certain that they will be regulated in terms of packaging, marketing, ingredients, dosage, pesticides and preparation. California regulators have had the benefit of seeing the numerous recalls and other problems plaguing Colorado and Washington and these will certainly have an effect on the subsequent rules that they will put forth:

"... the city of Denver has issued its largest pot-related recall to date: nearly 100,000 packages of marijuana edibles made by the company Mountain High Suckers. The packages, containing anything from lozenges to lollipops, were voluntarily recalled by the company over concerns they might contain two pesticides disallowed by the state in marijuana production — imidacloprid and myclobutanil. There are a total of five batches involved in the recall, two intended strictly for recreational use.

The recall, the 15th to occur in 16 weeks, is only the latest incident involving pesticide use. Earlier last November, Governor John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) issued an executive order directing state agencies to address the urgent "threat to public safety posed by marijuana contaminated by the pesticide;" specifically by the use of off-label pesticides on pot crops. "


Not wanting to wait for the state to issue rules on an already-relevant topic, the city of San Francisco's Department of Health has taken a leadership role in drafting edibles regulations. Even those these only apply to dispensary sales within San Francisco, edibles manufacturers should use these as a baseline for their operations regardless where they operate in the state. Among the things to note:

  • No edible cannabis products requiring refrigeration or hot-holding shall be manufactured for sale or distribution.
  • All items shall be individually wrapped at the original point of preparation.
  • Labeling must include a warning if nuts or other known allergens are used.
  • Labeling must include the total weight (in ounces or grams) of cannabis in the package.
  • A warning that the item is a medication and not a food must be distinctly and clearly legible on the front of the package.
  • The package label must have a warning clearly legible emphasizing that the product is to be kept away from children.
  • The label must specify the date of manufacture.
  • Packaging that makes the product attractive to children or imitates candy is not allowed.
  • Any edible cannabis product that is made to resemble a typical food product (i.e. brownie, cake) must be in a properly labeled opaque (non see-through) package before it leaves the dispensary. 
  • Unless you are only dealing with one dispensary, to make and sell edibles you must become a State certified food handler

Of course as with all marijuana products in California, edible cannabis products for sale or distribution at a dispensary must have been prepared by a member of that dispensary (or collective). No non-member edible cannabis products are allowed for sale or distribution at a dispensary.

By: Wesley