City sets regulations for cannabis-laced goodies

SF Public Press
 — Jul 23 2010 - 10:59am

 

Chasing your morning latte with a pot brownie might be getting a bit safer.
 
The San Francisco Department of Public Health this month is rolling out new restrictions on the production and sale of edible goods containing marijuana.
 
The city’s new regulations cover distribution, packaging and sales:
  • Cannabis products may not be prepared alongside non-cannabis food items.
  • Dispensaries are not allowed to sell cannabis goods that require refrigeration or hot-holding — unless they apply for a special exemption.
  • Distributors must individually wrap cannabis edibles with dated labels warning that they contains cannabis, that they are medication, and to keep them away from children. The packaging itself also cannot imitate candy or make the product attractive to children.
  • Dispensaries can only sell edibles that a staff member has prepared. Patients and caregivers who sell their edibles at multiple dispensaries must be state-certified food handlers.
  • Preparers of cannabis edibles must wear gloves and cannot
  • prepare products while infected with communicable diseases.
David Goldman, spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, sees the restrictions as a step forward for medical cannabis.

“I agree with the health department’s determination that they shouldn’t be in transparent packaging,” Goldman said, adding that the city should require cannabis products to have labels showing the amount of THC, the psychoactive chemical marijuana.

Such regulation of pot snacks might have kept one San Francisco resident from disrupting a flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. According to the New York Daily News, Kinman Chan screamed and ran to the plane’s bathroom and had to be subdued by flight staff.

Chan later showed authorities his medical cannabis card and said he consumed a couple of cookies. The plane was diverted back to Philadelphia. The paper said Chan was fined $250,000 for disrupting the flight.

 
Goldman said that many medical cannabis patients, particularly those with chronic conditions, prefer edibles to smoking.
“They get longer-acting relief,” he said. “A lot of people I know who have chronic pain and trouble sleeping at night will take an edible before bed.”

The Department of Public Health published the regulations in early July.