Marijuana Edibles Subject to Tighter Regulation in Colorado

An initiative by Colorado lawmakers to impose tighter regulations on legal marijuana edible products may soon result in a bright red stop sign on the packaging, and a ban of the word “candy” on the labels. stop.jpg

A recent draft of new rules by marijuana regulators seeks to limit the desirability of these products among children. That’s why barring the word “candy” is important, even on items like gummy chews or suckers.

Additionally, the packages would need to have a standard indication the product contains marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC. Regulators have introduced a proposed one, a red octagon stop-sign shape embossed with the letters “THC.” Not only would manufacturers need to print this symbol on labels, they would also have to find a way to stamp it onto the edible product itself. That way, if it’s ever out of the package, someone would be alerted to the difference.

Further, it’s been proposed that marijuana products that are liquid-based would have to be limited to single-serving packs. A “serving” has been identified as one that contains a maximum 10 milligrams of THC.

The proposal was released as part of the updated guidelines for edible marijuana products, as outlined by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division. The drug can be baked into a huge variety of food items, ranging from brownies to sodas to even pasta sauces.

The move to implement a standard labeling on marijuana products is not new or surprising. State lawmakers in Colorado last year actually passed a law insisting on unique packaging and some kind of indication of its contents even outside the package. The idea is to prevent people from consuming marijuana-laced food unintentionally. Regulators have until the beginning of next year to implement the new law.

Already, manufacturers of marijuana foods have been barred from making anything that looks similar to other candies or to use cartoon characters on the packaging.

Yet there continue to be sporadic reports of individuals unknowingly consuming marijuana products or consuming far too much of the psychoactive ingredient without realizing how much they were actually ingesting. This could be a serious problem because when food is ingested through eating, the effects take longer to manifest. That could lead to someone eating far more than they should and not realizing it was way too much until too late.

Before these new rules become official, they will be subject to a public hearing and then a formalized adoption. Previous attempts to implement labeling guidelines have been met with protest from marijuana product manufacturers, who say the process of stamping certain products could be difficult for anything outside of the cookie/hard candy mold.

Others have complained that a “stop sign” symbol gives the impression that the product is somehow bad or toxic. They don’t necessarily have an issue with proper labeling, but would prefer one that doesn’t carry a negative connotation.

Last year, state dispensaries took their own initiative to encourage first-time users of marijuana products not to consume more than half of the single-dosage to avoid accidental overdose.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:
Colorado May Ban ‘Candy’ Name on Marijuana Treats, Aug. 11, 2015, By Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press
More Blog Entries:
Study: Teen Marijuana Use Not Linked to Health Trouble, Aug. 4, 2015, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog