Thanks to overwhelming response by patients, a plan by the Oregon Health Authority we told you about earlier has been scrapped. The draft rules proposed by the OHA would have banned at Oregon’s newly legal dispensaries any medicated edible product that was “manufactured in a form that resembles cake-like products, cookies, candy, or gum, or that otherwise may be attractive to minors because of its shape, color, or taste.”
Tom Burns, head of the OHA’s dispensary oversight, originally crafted the rules in response to worries about children mistakenly eating medicated edibles. The OHA received over 300 emails from patients and advocates explaining how a ban on, say, medicated brownies, lollipops, and gummies doesn’t make those items disappear; it makes them go underground. They also explained how many patients cannot inhale marijuana through smoking or vaporization and they shouldn’t have to be relegated to bland, tasteless edibles for relief. Others were shocked the OHA would basically incentivize patients toward smoking, which is the least healthful way of ingesting cannabis medicine
Yesterday, the OHA released its final rules, which went into effect immediately. They seem to now understand it is better to regulate production of sweet edibles, so they can control the look and packaging of them, rather than turn every patient’s home kitchen in Oregon into a source for tinfoil, sandwich baggie, and wax paper wrapped edibles on the black market.
The new rules still bar any products that are “attractive to minors,” but now that definition does not include any references to type or taste of food. What won’t be allowed is any “brightly colored food” or medibles shaped like “an animal or any other commercially recognizable toy or candy.” That seems reasonable -- no pot animal cookies or brand rip-offs on, say, a Snickers bar. But what counts as “brightly colored food”? Is a medicated Rice Krispies treat OK, but only if it uses plain Rice Krispies and not those rainbow colored ones? The rules don’t define what “bright colors” are.
The rules also require opaque, child-proof packaging, which cannot be “a container that is brightly colored, depicts cartoons or images other than the logo of the facility, unless the logo of the facility depicts cartoons, in which case only the name of the facility is permitted.” So forget about that great idea of naming your Scooby Snacks with a picture of Scooby & Shaggy… not that Hanna Barbera would have let you, anyway.