San Francisco Issues Food Safety Regulations for Pot Dispensaries

San Francisco Issues Food Safety Regulations for Pot Dispensaries

Food & Drink

San Francisco Issues Food Safety Regulations for Pot Dispensaries


By Cari Martens

The San Francisco Department of Public Health has become one of the first cities in the state to set regulations on pot-laced edibles as a result of the growing number of medical cannabis dispensaries in the city.

Popular pot-infused creations such as brownies and other baked goods, ice cream, chewing gum, and milkshakes have become standard fare at many of the medical marijuana outlets. But when some of these edible treats are ingested unknowingly, it can lead to scary experiences and visits to the ER. There have been numerous anecdotal accounts on the Internet and in the press of children, grandmothers, and pets accidentally consuming unmarked THC edibles.

Among the regulations, as reported by Jackson West for

  • Packaging must state the amount of marijuana in the food, and whether it contains any potential allergens such as nuts
  • Only members of a dispensary are permitted to make the products
  • If products are to be sold at more than one location, the dispensary must get a food handler’s permit
  • Anything that requires refrigeration is forbidden, unless the dispensary is granted an exemption from the health department
  • Anything resembling candy, which might appeal to children—such as candy bars wrapped in packaging similar to popular brands—is verboten

If California voters pass Proposition 19 this fall, the Tax Cannabis Act that essentially decriminalizes weed, you can expect to see many more state regulations—and probably a plethora of legal challenges.

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