If you are a marijuana business owner, it is important that you be aware of the state’s new requirements for packaging edibles.

Prior to marijuana sales being legalized for recreational use in Colorado,shutterstock_76732849very few children were admitted to emergency rooms for marijuana intoxication. Since recreational sales began, the number of kids admitted to the hospital has jumped considerably. In fact, the Children’s Hospital Colorado reported that prior to legalization in Colorado, accidental ingestion of marijuana by children occurred at a rate of 1.2 per every 100,000 emergency room visits. After legalization, the rate jumped to 2.3 per every 100,000 children seen in the emergency room. This is nearly double the amount of emergency room visits for accidental ingestion by children. In response to the increase in accidental ingestion of marijuana by children, The Children’s Hospital Colorado conducted a Health Impact Assessment to give the state a set of evidence-based guidelines for the packaging of retail marijuana products. The purpose of this assessment was to provide recommendations that would help reduce unintentional ingestion of marijuana by children. The Children’s Hospital Colorado made the following recommendations in its assessment: As a result of these recommendations, Colorado implemented these suggestions for safely packaging cannabis products in the state’s industry regulations. As recreational cannabis winds down its 3rd year of existence, new industry and public health data continue to provide areas for improvement across the entire marijuana regulatory spectrum. The most recent rule change went into effect in Colorado on October 1st. These new regulations cover all retail and medical marijuana packaging and labeling across the state. The purpose of the new rules is to decrease the number of children that are admitted to emergency rooms for the consumption of marijuana edibles.

What Are the New Rules?

The new law states that the universal THC symbol, “THC!” must be marked in red on all edibles. This cautions buyers that the edibles contain THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The universal symbol is shaped like a diamond and embroidered with the letters “THC!”.  Colorado lawmakers are confident that this new symbol will help distinguish cannabis products from everyday food products. If you are an edible manufacturer, it is important to know that not only does this new symbol have to be on the product packaging, but it must also be present on the cannabis food item itself. In addition, manufacturers are also banned from using kid-friendly shapes like gummy worms for marijuana edibles. They are also banned from calling edibles candy or candies. This particular regulation is an attempt to prevent edibles from appealing to young children who might mistake the edible for a piece of candy. Product labels will also need to include contaminant testing results and potency on the label, according to the new rules. This helps to ensure that novice users understand exactly how strong the edible is.

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