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Washington Could Welcome Out-of-State Investors, Mr. Yuk

In a sharp break from previous policy, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board is considering a rule change that would allow out-of-state investors to enter the state’s regulated market. 

The proposed revision, announced earlier today, would address a chronic problem for Washington’s cannabis industry: drumming up enough funds solely from a pool of residents who’ve lived in the state for longer than six months. It could bring a flood of out-of-state cash as investors scramble to get in on a rapidly growing industry.

Out-of-state financiers will still be subject to the same financial and criminal background checks that in-state investors must pass, board spokesman Brian Smith told the Associated Press.

The proposed change was one of many announced Wednesday as part of the effort to merge the state’s medical and recreational programs in light of recent legislation. If adopted, the new rules would would take effect in March.

Among the other proposals, one of the most visible — at least to consumers — would be the required inclusion of Mr. Yuk stickers on labels for cannabis-infused edibles.

A State-by-State Guide to Cannabis Packaging and Labeling Laws

The Mr. Yuk rule could spark debate. The stickers are meant to warn young children away from poison, which makes them a convenient tool to keep kids away from cannabis products. But cannabis isn’t poison. Colorado tried this sort of mixed message with its “THC stop sign” proposal, which it later replaced with a diamond in response to pushback.

 

Mr. Yuk

 

Other proposed changes being considered by the board would:

  • Add carbon dioxide (CO2) as a solvent that can be used for extraction under certain conditions by patients or providers
  • Add language prohibiting cannabis-infused products that require baking or cooking
  • Remove language prohibiting the use of terpenes and cannabinoids
  • Remove language prohibiting characterizing flavors for inhalants
  • Require licensees be up to date on state taxes
  • Require licensees to file employee compensation and benefits data

The full list of proposed rules are on the LCB’s website. Public comments are due to the board by Feb. 10. 

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