As California gears up for the sale of recreational cannabis, lawmakers are still concerned about cannabis packaging that could appeal to minors. On Aug. 24, 2017, state lawmakers sent Gov. Jerry Brown Senate Bill 663, a bill intended to thwart edibles from being marketed to adolescents, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Crafted by Sen. Jim Nielsen, SB 663 would ban cannabis products from having labels or packaging that pictures the actual product; for instance, an image of a brownie could not be pictured on the package for an infused brownie. Along with cannabis packaging and labels, edibles would not be allowed to imitate the name or wrapper of non-cannabis foods.
Supporters of the bill reason that children are more likely to take interest in cannabis products if the packaging or name is engaging. Lawmakers like Nielsen are concerned that products that appeal to minors will put children, especially those under the age of seven, at a higher risk for cannabis poisoning.
“Studies have shown the dangers that accidental marijuana ingestion poses to young children,” Nielsen said. “This measure will prevent marijuana from being packaged to attract children.”
SB 663 would also prevent packages from displaying cartoons, catchphrases or names that would appeal to those under the age of 21.
The bill has garnered support from California law enforcement, medical professionals and fitness specialists.
“We encourage the Governor to sign Senator Nielsen’s proposal into law. Marijuana is already a major problem facing Placer County. This law will reduce any ambiguity in current child safety measures in relation to marijuana,” said Placer County Sheriff Devon Bell.
California is scheduled to begin issuing cultivator and retail licenses for recreational cannabis at the beginning of 2018.