Colorado’s New Marijuana Edibles Packaging Regulations

Colorado’s New Marijuana Edibles Packaging Regulations

Coming off of what was arguably the most successful year in the cannabis industry, the state of Colorado is justifiably tightening some of its regulations. Feb. 1, 2015 brought new rules concerning the potency and packaging of THC infused edibles. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana known to produce the feeling of being high.

Amendment 64, the law allowing adults 21 or older in Colorado to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana or THC, was adopted on Nov. 6, 2012. Since then, the laws have been subject to careful scrutiny as they are setting an example for the rest of the nation. This change is probably one of many to come this year concerning the mid-western state’s evolving cannabis industry. The Marijuana Enforcement Division of Colorado is in charge of researching and formulating these new regulations.

The New Rules

  • Recreational cannabis edibles must be packaged individually, in child-resistant wrappers and in standardized servings consisting of 10 milligrams of active THC.
  • Packaging must comprehensively delineate the serving size.
  • Labels must include all of the pertinent information as well as warnings, such as “This product is unlawful outside the State of Colorado,” and “The intoxicating effects of this product may be delayed by two or more hours.”
  • The Marijuana Enforcement Division is trying to dissuade companies from producing edibles with 10 to 100 milligrams of THC by offering incentives for the production of edibles at 10 milligrams of psychoactive content.

Below is a photo of the new Lift Citrus Acai THC- infused drink, one of the ways that one Colorado manufacturer, Dixie Elixir, has responded to these new packaging regulations. This 1 ounce beverage contains 10 mg of THC in one serving.

Dixie Lift Citrus

The Community Reaction

The Marijuana community and distributors are generally unified in welcoming the new regulations. They are mostly of the understanding that for decriminalization to be successful it must be approached as responsibly as possible. The new rules have been a little bit of a setback for those stores with a large inventories of high potency cannabis edibles. However, over the course of the month leading up to the new regulations various vendors and manufacturers have come together to offer non-compliant edibles at a unified discount.

There has been national concern surrounding the safe use of cannabis, both medicinally and recreationally. Many physiological factors come into play when determining the appropriate dose for any given person. Up to now, laws concerning label information and child-resistant packaging had been somewhat lax. Even so, there have been only a handful of cases of kids being hospitalized due to unknowingly ingesting cannabis edibles, but that is enough to cause a concern as the edibles market makes up about 45 percent of Colorado’s marijuana industry. Ean Seeb, co-owner of the dispensary, Denver Relief, reported to CBS, “Putting [marijuana edibles] into child resistant containers is one measure we can take as an industry to try to prevent that from happening.”

Colorado’s New Recreational Edibles Packaging Regulations

Colorado’s New Recreational Edibles Packaging Regulations

New recreational marijuana edibles regulations in Colorado aim to prevent novice users from accidentally overindulging. Although it is not possible for a person to die from an accidental marijuana overdose, it may result in extremely unpleasant feelings of nausea, anxiety and fear. Some users suffering from accidental overindulgence have even mistaken these symptoms for those of a heart attack.

To combat this from happening to new and experienced users alike, the state of Colorado has rolled out educational campaigns and updated the recreational edibles packaging regulations.

First the “Start Low and Go Slow” campaign launched last year to educate users on the risks posed by the slower onset of eating marijuana edibles. It may take up to two hours to feel the full effects when eating cannabis, and there is no going back once a person eats more than they meant to.

Medical marijuana patients may require higher doses of THC, while recreational users may not have the same tolerance. While medical marijuana edibles can contain upwards of 350 mg in one edible, items sold in the recreational market can no longer contain more than 10 mg per serving.

Items packaged as a multiple serving unit are permitted in the recreational market as long as each serving is easily distinguishable, and consumers are not likely to be confused into thinking the entire package is one serving. If one item contains multiple 10 mg servings, they must be packaged in a child-resistant and resealable manner so that consumers do not feel like they must eat all items at one time. Liquid items like tinctures and beverages must come with a measuring tool so that consumers may easily identify exactly how much they are ingesting at one time.

One example of an edibles company that is leading the charge to meet and exceed the new regulation standards is Dixie Elixirs and Edibles, a popular Colorado producer. Dixie has recently released the One product line which caters specifically to the recreational market with a variety of products containing lower-doses of THC with 5 and 10 mg servings. Some of the low-dose products (pictured below) include the THC infused Relaxing Mints, Watermelon Cream beverage, and White Chocolate Peppermint square. On the Dixie website, a statement was issued explaining that, in the coming months, consumers can expect to see “all new packaging, new products and new formulations on existing products to make them even better.”

dixie one marijuana

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