A highly anticipated ruling that will allow Florida’s medical dispensaries to sell THC edibles was quietly unveiled on Wednesday, Aug. 26. The state legislature passed a law legalizing THC edibles during a special session in 2017. But before pot businesses could sell these products, the Department of Health had to determine the legal parameters – discerning “shapes, forms, and ingredients prohibited.”
After a 2 ½ year delay, the Department of Health finally released their ruling last week, giving licensed dispensaries the green light to sell and manufacture edible products, as long as they don’t bear a resemblance to any commercially available sweets. The rules are similar to others in medical marijuana states, prohibiting bright colors to minimize attraction to children and requiring that they are packaged and labeled appropriately. So, gummy worms are off the table, but baked goods, chocolates and lozenges are fair game.
Before this, medical patients in Florida were able to ingest THC products through capsules, powders, syringes and tinctures. The ruling on edibles comes a year after the state’s legislature allowed smokable flower to hit the market.
Florida’s largest medical cannabis company, Trulieve, is well prepared to rollout edibles. In 2018, Trulieve teamed up with Binske, a sophisticated Colorado-based edibles company that sells THC infused olive oils, fruit leathers, honey, chocolate, granola and even pate de fruits. Trulieve also built a 10,000 sq. ft. commercial-grade kitchen at its production facility in Quincy, Fl, in preparation of the ruling.
“Similar to what we saw when flower was introduced in 2019, we expect that edibles will contribute to a sizable share of overall sales,” Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers said in a public statement. “We know the demand is there, as we have been hearing from our customers for some time now, we are glad to finally be able to offer edibles as yet another option for medical cannabis patients across Florida.”
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried gave the go-ahead to four of the state’s medical-marijuana operators — Parallel Florida LLC, Curaleaf, VidaCann and Trulieve — to start manufacturing edible products.
Katie Reynolds, a 24-year-old MMJ patient in Cape Coral, Fl has been unable to smoke for months since recovering from COVID19 in July. Reynolds has been using syringes to make chocolates and told Wikileaf that edibles are her preferred method for soothing her ulcerative colitis (UC) symptoms.
“I think a lot of people are scared to make edibles themselves,” Reynolds said. “I think it’s going to open a new door for marijuana consumption, people who don’t normally eat edibles will get to try them, and they’ll probably fall in love with them.”
It remains unclear when exactly edible THC products will hit the shelves because state health officials have to sign off on all products before dispensaries can sell them.