Edible marijuana packaging faces stricter guidelines in Colorado under a bill that aims to establish labeling requirements for pot brownies, lollipops and other pot products.
The House Judiciary committee heard testimony Tuesday on a bill to regulate labels and require tamper-proof opaque packaging – a change aimed at keeping kids away from sweets made with marijuana.
Lawmakers were shown pictures of edible marijuana packaged as “Pot Tarts” similar to the breakfast pastries “Pop Tarts,” and a product “Captain Chronic” designed in a package to look like Cap’n Crunch cereal.
“That looks very similar to a product my children consume,” said Republican Rep. Mark Waller of Colorado Springs.
The proposal for stiffer packaging guidelines on pot products comes as state regulators finish work on similar rules governing how edible pot must be produced and sold. The guidelines include labeling requirements to state how much marijuana is in a product.
“Kids are having greater access to marijuana than they’ve had before, by quite a lot,” Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr told the lawmakers in support of the law.
The bill started out as a ban on all edible marijuana, but the Republican sponsor suggested changing her proposed ban to labeling requirements for edible pot. Her proposed edible pot ban prompted howls of complaint from patients and even some physicians who say marijuana is safer eaten than smoked.
Pot advocates who testified Tuesday say the labeling law still goes too far. The committee delayed action on the measure, but dozens of marijuana advocates turned out to argue against a labeling requirements law.
“I do agree it’s important to regulate and protect, but where do we stop?” asked Danyel Joffe, a Denver lawyer who represents marijuana sellers and patients.
The state Department of Revenue is expected this spring to finish work on regulations on products infused with marijuana. After the rules take effect, edible pot will have to include warnings that the products have not been tested.
Edible marijuana labeling is attracting more attention as stories pop up about kids eating pot-laced treats. On Monday, four fifth-graders in Vallejo, Calif., were sickened after a boy shared marijuana-laced ginger snaps during lunch. Police said the cookies were made by Colorado-based Auntie’s Edibles and were not clearly marked, although packaging includes a warning that says the product should be kept out of the reach of children.
Another maker of marijuana-infused products, Greg Goldfogel, said the looming Revenue regulations are welcomed by the industry and that an additional law isn’t needed.
“We are good citizens and we don’t want to be giving bad dosages out there,” Goldfogel said. “We are trying to self-police on this.”