Coloradans — and thousands of tourists looking for a Rocky Mountain high — have enjoyed legal cannabis for more than two years. One of the bumps in the regulatory road has been the edible labeling. On Oct. 1, new edibles packaging laws will take effect in an attempt to smooth out the bump.
The new regulations are designed to make the packaging less appealing to children and safer for adults unaccustomed to the potent marijuana-laced products. Beginning on Saturday, edible and beverage packages containing cannabis must adorn a diamond-shaped symbol with this statement: “Contains Marijuana. Keep out of the reach of children.”
The Colorado Department of Health has reported a spike in marijuana-related emergency room visits. Since legalization, Colorado has also struggled with regulating edible marijuana products, which have sent children to the hospital.
And, of course, who could forget the brouhaha in 2104 when New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd had her “mellow harshed” by a not-so-innocent caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar.
“Our priority is protecting the public health and safety of all Coloradans,” said Barbara Brohl, executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue. “We collaborated extensively with all stakeholders to develop sensible rules that will provide consumers more information about what they’re buying and to ensure marijuana stays out of the hands of children. It is critical for retail and medical marijuana businesses licensed by the Department of Revenue to understand their role in implementing these new rules on time.”
Here are some of the highlights of the new regulations:
- All new medical and retail marijuana packaging must feature the new universal symbol on the front. Medical and retail marijuana will have similar, but different symbols.
- Packaging must include the following statement directly below the symbol: “Contains Marijuana. Keep out of the reach of children.”
- The words “candy” or “candies” cannot appear on marijuana or marijuana packaging, unless part of the marijuana establishment’s name.
- Each container of medical and retail marijuana must be labeled with necessary and relevant information for consumers, including a potency statement and a contaminant testing statement. The information must be easily accessible to consumers, clear and noticeable. Health and physical benefit claims cannot be included on labels.
“With the new universal symbol, people can more easily identify marijuana products, monitor their intake by serving size and avoid eating too much,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “And by making marijuana labels less appealing to children, we hope to keep them from accidentally eating THC and suffering the consequences.”