Yesterday, Jeff Lawrence of the Colorado Department of Public Health recommended a ban on most forms of edible marijuana products. With the exception of tinctures and lozenges, the ban would eliminate most tasty treats Coloradans have become accustomed to over the last ten months of legalization. The controversial topic got quite a stir just a week after the Denver police department warned Colorado residents of the dangers of mistaking infused edibles for Halloween candy, and now some government officials are ready to take action.
Surprisingly, Colorado Governor Hickenlooper disagreed with the Department of Public health issuing this statement in response:
“We are confident that our working groups and the legislature can find solutions that keep marijuana out of the hands of kids while promoting safe access to edible products among adults.”
The Colorado Governor’s marijuana coordinator Andrew Freedman spoke on behalf of the Governor’s office saying, “It should come as no surprise that protecting kids from accidental ingestion of marijuana edibles is a top priority for the state’s chief medical officer.” Although Freedman’s sentiment was largely dismissive of the Department of Public Health’s cries to rid the state of nearly all edibles, he did concede that there were valid points in the arguments. And there are.
Earlier this year state law makers ordered regulators to develop new rules for edibles after a spike in hospitalizations of children who accidentally consumed marijuana-infused products. This spike is mainly attributed to the similar appearance, improper packaging, and negligence on the part of consumers. To curb the trend lawmakers are looking for solutions including lower dosages and more stringent packaging requirements. Many dispensaries and edibles manufacturers are shifting their production to less potent forms of edibles voluntarily in order to attract consumers who want a more mild experience.
While opponents of Amendment 64 in Colorado are looking for ways to take back ground, the little progress that they have made has been overshadowed by the success of legalization. It appears that even Colorado’s own governor is ready stand up for Colorado’s rights in the face of scrutiny.
It comes without saying that there would be hurdles in the first year of legalization in the first state in the free world. Although the processing, packaging, and marketing of edibles could certainly use more precise guidelines and regulations, Colorado stands to gain more by facing these challenges head on and setting the standard on a national scale.
Photo Credit: IBTimes.com, Time.com