Say goodbye to cannabis-infused sour gummies, hard candies, and drinks. If the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) decides to go through with the proposed changes this month, your next edible will be stamped with a “THC” stop sign on each dose. If it can’t be stamped, it can’t be sold. The changes stem from concern for child resistant containers and that edibles look too similar to children’s candy. These new edible regulations could end up putting several high-profile marijuana companies out of business on January 1st.
The first change deals with stamping, or marking, each dose of any given edible. It will be a universal symbol that strongly identifies it as a marijuana product that contains active THC. The standard dose is 10 mg of THC per serving. The MED wants to make certain that each consumer knows that one piece of chocolate, or one lozenge, is one dose. If the edible were to get into the hands of a child, the THC stop sign would alert them that it is not child-friendly candy. Actually, these regulation changes want to take the word “candy” out of the equation. The idea is that if the packaging and product look nothing like common sweets, then fewer incidents will happen.
This change would be costly, but doable for chocolates, baked goods, and capsules. Products like gummy bears would be booted out of the edible line-up. If the product doesn’t meet the criteria, it won’t be available for sale. This puts companies like Dixie Elixirs (who manufactures cannabis-infused drinks among other products) in a tough spot, but products like Dixie’s one-serving drink might still be admissible. Edipure products will also have to be drastically changed. Companies will no longer be allowed to use THC sprays on foods that are already produced for non-cannabis consumption.
The packaging of edible products will see another change. In January 2015, new laws went into effect that required childproof packaging, and childproof carrying bags. Now, less than a year later, those guidelines could change. Each edible that has multiple doses must be securely resealed, making it childproof after each dose. The stamp that will go on each dose will also be seen on the packaging itself. The design of some edible products will have to be changed also. No cartoons, or candy images can be used, because they could appeal to children. (Medical marijuana edibles will still be subject to the new packaging restrictions, but it’s unclear whether they will need to be stamped.)
The label on each product is about to get longer also. The new criteria require that the company disclose all pesticides used in the growing process, and which testing facility was used during production. If the edible doesn’t meet testing requirements it will have to say so on the label. Nutritional information will also be required, along with dosing information, and expiration dates.
What does this mean for dispensaries?
If it were to pass there are a lot of additional costs that come with the new regulations. Edible companies would have to change all manufacturing to include the universal symbol that warns children of the THC. This means creating a mold for each product to be stamped. They will also have to redesign all packaging to include the symbol, and to ensure it meets the new childproof guidelines.
The Marijuana Enforcement Division will decide whether these changes are necessary this month. Some dispensaries are already bracing for the changes, but come January 1st several marijuana edible companies are going to struggle to keep up with regulations. Your favorite cannabis-infused product, might be off the shelf next time you shop.
Northern Lights Cannabis Co. is a medical and recreational dispensary in Denver. We offer daily specials for medical marijuana patients, and with our loyalty program returning recreational customers can get additional discounts. Stop in, and see us at 2045 Sheridan Boulevard in Edgewater, Colorado. We’re open until 10pm Sunday through Thursday, and midnight on Friday and Saturday.