A constant thorn in the side of Colorado regulators is the question of edible marijuana. Ever since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, the state has been plagued with accidental ingestions, out-of-state rookies eating too much, and over-intoxicated individuals making tragic choices.
On August 5, 2015, the Marijuana Enforcement Division released a set of proposed rules regarding edible marijuana.
Under the proposed rules, edible marijuana packages would come with a large red octagonal sign, similar to a STOP sign, stamped with the letters THC. Earlier, regulators had toyed with the idea of putting a giant marijuana leaf on edible packaging, but that was later scrapped due to fear that would it further entice curious children.
In addition to the large THC stop sign, marijuana beverages would be limited to 10mg, which is considered one serving. The word “candy” would also be banned from edible marijuana products.
One provision of the proposed regulations that drew ire from the industry is a rule that would prevent edible manufacturers from taking premade products, like candy bars, and spraying them with marijuana oils. Manufacturers would still be allowed to use premade items so long as they alter them beyond recognition.
However, many in the industry still worry about the ambiguity. Speaking with the Associated Press, Dan Anglin of the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce said he wants more clarification from regulators. “Do I have to have chickens out back for the eggs,” Anglin asked.
Others in the industry worry about whether or not putting a giant stop sign on edible packaging would send a wrong message. Julie Dooley, an edibles manufacturer, spoke to CBS Denver about her concerns.
“As a manufacturer we are happy to comply with something as simple as a stamp on a pill or a candy, something that makes sense. However, there are products that it doesn’t,” said Dooley. “Our biggest question has always been, ‘Is there a need for this? Is there truly a crisis in Colorado that we need to regulate this at such a level?’”
It is debatable as to whether there is an edibles crisis in Colorado. Although edibles make up 45 percent of marijuana sales in the state, there have only been a handful of incidences that have been attributed to edibles.
However, in 2014, there was an uptick in the number of children rushed to the ER due to ingesting marijuana.
Although this issue blurs the line between responsible parenting and responsible regulations, appearances matter. In the eyes of some regulators, it is better to over-regulate and repeal than it is to under regulate and lose the whole market.
For those interested in voicing their concerns over the newly proposed rules, a public meeting has been scheduled for August 31, 2015 from 9am-5pm at the state capitol building. Click here for more information.