By Marisa DeZara
THC filled food is a highly sought after cannabis product. A plethora of medicated edibles–cakes, candy bars, brownies, cookies, gummy bears–are readily available for purchase. In Colorado, dispensaries are required to provide patients and recreational users with childproof packaging upon checkout. The reason for this is quite obvious: to prevent children from accidentally eating these enticing treats, and, consequently, getting high.
This is an eminent problem in Colorado, as users bring home edibles that almost identically resemble un-medicated food items. Inevitably so, children have a difficult time differentiating between which foods contain cannabis and which do not. This posits a dangerous risk when these edibles find their way out of the childproof packaging and into the reach of kids.
Regardless of the regulatory system that Colorado has implemented, childproof packaging and cautionary labeling may have a limited impact. High Times magazine indicates that the Marijuana Enforcement Division requires that the words “Retail Marijuana Product” appear on the label. While this is distinctive wording, it may not be enough to stop kids from consuming medibles, considering that many children could overlook the label entirely, or, even worse, be too young to read it.
High Times argues that utilizing the universal pot leaf symbol, in the form of leaf shaped food and pot leaf symbols on labels, may be the answer to clarifying which food is infused with cannabis. Although contradictory, governmental officials regard the pot leaf symbol as a tool for “entic[ing] kids.” However, High Times negates that proposition by stating that the pot leaf is as recognizable as the McDonald’s logo, which should invite parents to teach their kids that anything with a pot leaf is a no-no.
Ensuring that edibles are far out of reach for children is certainly a primary concern for parents and industry leaders alike, but additional labeling may not hurt when it comes to precautionary measures. So, the question remains: will the pot leaf symbol help, hurt, or do absolutely nothing at all?