SEATTLE — A new change in marijuana laws will mean safer edibles and lock boxes shops can give away or sell to those who want them.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a new bill Thursday that holds pot-infused food to the same standards as all other food manufactured in the state.
Currently, state health inspectors don't have authority over marijuana producers.
The state Liquor and Cannabis Board contracts with the state Agriculture Department to do food safety inspections, but the department can't regulate marijuana edibles.
As a result, the food products sold at pot shops, such as Uncle Ike's, aren't held to the same safety standards as all other food manufactured in the state.
It's a loophole that will soon be closed though, with a new bill signed by Inslee.
Businesses that produce edibles will have to get an endorsement from the state Department of Agriculture.
To do that, their facility and manufacturing processes have to pass a health inspection, and they'll be subject to regular, random inspections just like any other food manufacturing business in the state.
Inspectors will be able to suspend or revoke the processor's license if they're not complying with health regulations.
The Liquor and Cannabis Board already tightly regulates and inspects marijuana growers in the state. Regulators say the new bill will make the edibles on the market safer.
Inslee signed another bill Thursday to try to keep pot products out of the hands of children and away from pets.
The bill allows marijuana stores give their customers free lockable storage boxes.
Some local health departments had wanted to donate lock boxes for pot shops to give away to customers as a safety measure.
But because of strict laws on what pot shops can sell or give away, the boxes needed special authorization.
The new rules take effect this summer.
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