When recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, the rules and regulations governing the new industry had to be flexible and ready to adjust as new issues came up. One of these concerns stemmed around marijuana candy and it’s tendency to end up in the mouths of children. Even before the plant was legalized for recreational use, medical marijuana candy spurred many trips to the emergency room for children between 2005 and 2013. Concerns for the safety of the young have brought about a number of changes to the way marijuana edibles are sold. October 1st will see these alterations put in effect.
Major Differences to Edibles Packaging
First of all the packaging must feature a new universal symbol that contains a diamond, plus the letters THC and an exclamation point. The medical and recreational marijuana symbol will looks similar to each other with slight differences. All packages also need to say: “Contains Marijuana. Keep out of the reach of children.” Every marijuana serving of 10 mg of THC must be individually wrapped and marked or stamped with the universal warning symbol. If the marijuana product is powder or some other substance that’s hard to stamp or imprint, it has to be sold in a marked, child proof, single serve container.
Medical marijuana comes in different levels of THC per portion. Nonetheless, the packaging must still be clearly marked with the amount contained in every serving and single serves will still need to be packaged separately. All products not packaged in this way will be illegal to sell after October 1st.
Taking the “Candy” Out of Marijuana Candy
The words “candy” and “candies” will be banned on packaging. All marijuana edibles in shapes that would especially appeal to children such as gummy bears, human and animal shapes will also be banned and packaging must be designed to appeal to adults over 21. Potency and other necessary consumer information must be clearly labeled and health claims cannot be advertised on packaging. One ounce of retail marijuana will be considered to be the equivalent to 80 servings of 10mg of THC in marijuana edibles.
The High Cost of Sudden Change
It has taken over a year for state officials and marijuana industry people to get the new regulations up and running. There is a high cost for marijuana edibles manufacturers and all new molds, packaging and designs need to be implemented. The director of the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, Jim Burack is sensitive to cost of the change and has stated that the new regulations are not about trying to make retailer’s lives more difficult. He told The Cannabist, “The No. 1 goal here: It’s about public safety, it’s about public health, and, above all, it’s sensitive to the risk this poses to children.”
The new regulations could set an industry standard for other budding states where recreational marijuana has been legalized. The new move, while costly, is sure to bring a higher level of safety to children in the future so long as parents remember to lock up their marijuana edibles in the same way they would lock up the liquor cabinet.