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USA: Florida approves edible medical cannabis products


Edible products with medical cannabis have been approved in the state, with some restrictions. GETTY IMAGES

Florida has approved licensed medical cannabis dispensaries to be able to produce THC-infused edible products.

The Florida Department of Health issued emergency guidance on its Office of Medical Cannabis Use Wednesday that allowed them, but with some restrictions. For example, the edibles must be a geometric shape and are allowed to be in the form of a lozenge, chocolate, drink powder, baked goods or gelatins, with some ingredients barred from use.

Some of the other restrictions that the emergency rules lay out include that edibles:

  • May not contain any color additives.

  • Can't bear a "reasonable resemblance to commercially available candy."

  • Can't bear any markings, symbols, images, graphics, or words, other than the universal symbol to mark edibles.

  • Can't be "decorated with icing, sprinkles or other toppings of any kind."

  • Can't be a primary or bright color.

The policy lays out rules for a distinguishable mark on the edibles. Some of the policies against bright colors or resemblance to candy are meant to avoid accidental ingestion by children.

Among the companies seeking to produce edibles in the state now is Atlanta-based Parallel, which will look to provide them in their Surterra Wellness dispensaries.

"This is very significant, both for our consumers and our business," Liz Conway, Florida president for Parallel, said in a prepared statement. "Florida’s cannabis patients have been waiting for the arrival of edibles, not only for dosing convenience, but for the extended relief that comes with ingesting medical cannabis."

No timetable was available for when those products might hit the market.

Besides approval from the Florida Department of Health, companies must receive an inspection of their food manufacturing facilities and receive a food safety certification from the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, a spokesman for the department confirmed with Orlando Business Journal. Among the companies to complete that food safety certification process were Parallel, Wakefield, Massachusetts-based Curaleaf Holdings Inc., Jacksonville-based VidaCann and Quincy-based Trulieve Cannabis Corp., the spokesman confirmed.

Florida's medical cannabis industry continues to grow since it was legalized in 2016.

The state has more than 399,253 registered patients and 270 licensed dispensaries as of Aug. 21, according to the Florida Department of Health. That's up from 255,256 qualified patients and 153 dispensaries on Aug. 16, 2019. Central Florida has roughly 41 medical cannabis dispensaries as of Aug. 28.

The state's qualified patient count is growing by an average of 5,000 people per week, said Curaleaf. Originally published here: https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2020/08/28/florida-approves-edible-medical-marijuana-products.html

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