Washington state approves first producer of pot edibles

SEATTLE Wed Jul 9, 2014 7:50pm EDT

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A Seattle-based company that makes marijuana-infused drinks and candies has become the first business in Washington approved to make edible pot products for the state's newly opened stores, officials said Wednesday.

Db3 Inc, which will trade under the brand name Zoots, received its license on Tuesday, meaning it can begin growing marijuana and using it to make recreational edibles in an approved commercial kitchen.

State officials said two other companies were awarded processing licenses, but did not yet have approved kitchens. 

"This is a landmark day, not only for Db3 as a company, but also for the consumers facing a potential shortage of edible products at retail outlets," the firm's president, Michael Devlin, said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear when pot edibles would hit shelves. The state Liquor Control Board, which regulates the fledgling marijuana sector, is due to consider a proposal next week on packaging and labeling standards for edibles.

The state's first recreational pot stores opened on Tuesday, making Washington only the second state to allow such sales after Colorado.

Last month, Governor Jay Inslee said the state would require child-resistant packaging for marijuana products and prohibit images and products that could appeal to minors.

The new edibles must also be tested for potency and to ensure the marijuana derivatives are spread evenly throughout the products. 

"We've heard stories from Colorado that edibles can be very strong for people who are not used to trying them," said liquor board spokesman Brian Smith. "The board wanted to make sure consumers knew what they were getting and how much to ingest."  

(Reporting by Bryan Cohen; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney)

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