As Washington state prepares to issue the first licenses for marijuana retail stores, Washington state leaders on Tuesday announced a coordinated campaign to make sure pot stays out of the hands of minors once products start hitting store shelves next month.
Different state agencies are working together to make sure the public has the information they need to make healthy decisions and the tools that they need to keep our kids safe. The Liquor Control Board will issue about 20 retail licenses on July 7, and the stores that are ready can open the next day. More stores will get licensed in the following days.
During a news conference on Tuesday, officials with the state Liquor Control Board, which has been overseeing the implementation of the state’s recreational marijuana law, said that they are poised to adopt emergency rules Wednesday to do three things concerning edible marijuana: require all marijuana-infused products to be labeled clearly as containing marijuana; require all products to be scored in such a way that a serving size is easily identified by the consumer; and requiring marijuana-infused products to be approved by the board before sale.
Previously adopted rules already require marijuana-infused products to be stored behind a counter or other barrier, and to be child-resistant. Officials stressed that no product will approved if it has a label that is appealing to kids.
Edibles won’t be available right away once stores open because a commercial kitchen is required, and, so far, no processors with commercial kitchens have been licensed.
The state has launched a $400,000 statewide radio and online campaign by the Department of Health this week that urges parents to talk with their children about the health risks of using marijuana. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission also launched a “Drive High, Get a DUI” campaign. State Patrol has said that troopers have been trained to recognize signs of stoned driving.
At the end of 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize possession of recreational marijuana by adults 21 and older. The voters also called for the establishment of systems of state-licensed pot growers, processors and retail stores. Sales have already begun in Colorado.
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