In 2014, Colorado became the first state to allow retail establishments to sell cannabis to adults over the age of 21. Unfortunately, since adult-use cannabis was legalized in 2014, the number of children who have been treated for accidental exposure to marijuana has increased significantly, according to new research published in JAMA Pediatrics. As a result of the spike in accidental ingestion of cannabis products by children, the Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division mandated that cannabis business owners act responsibly, protecting children from access to their products. The purpose of this law is to prevent unintentional ingestion of marijuana by children. Colorado’s Amendment 64, requires cannabis products to be packaged in opaque, child-resistant packaging. Marijuana suppliers and dispensary owners must comply with these strict packaging laws or face significant fines and penalties. Child-resistant packaging is not new. It dates back to the 1970s when the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970, was enacted by Congress. This law requires that dangerous substances, such as medicines and cleaning products, be packaged in child-resistant packaging. In the forty plus years since the law was made, the country has seen a major decline in accidental ingestion of toxic substances per a study by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System and the National Center for Health Statistics . Prior to 1970, accidental overdoses and ingestion of toxic substances occurred quite frequently among children. According to CNN, lawmakers hope that the current packaging laws will help protect children from accidental ingestion of marijuana products.
What Can Cannabis Business Owners Do to Comply With the Law?If you are a cannabis supplier or retailer, it is very important that your packaging complies with the law. Here are some general guidelines for marijuana packaging in Colorado:
- Either child-resistant primary packaging, or a child-resistant exit container or bag should be used for all cannabis products
- The packaging should not include the words “candy” “gummies” or have pictures of candy or cartoons, or anything that may appeal to children
- Cannabis packaging must be opaque