Small symbol - a Dept. of Revenue shield - indicates product has marijuana but it's not widely known

All retail marijuana products require symbol

DENVER - All packages containing products with retail marijuana are currently required to display a Department of Revenue Marijuana Enforcement Division shield.

The symbol was designed to warn people, especially children who are unable to read, that the product inside the packaging contains marijuana.

7NEWS purchased several edible marijuana products to see where the marijuana warning symbol was located.  The shield-like symbol was small, printed in black and white and in one case the symbol was partially covered by another sticker.

Since Jan. 1 several deadly incidents were attributed, in part, to edible marijuana. That reinforced the need for tighter regulations on dosage and labeling of products containing marijuana.

Tonight at 10P: 7NEWS tests if children can tell the difference between their favorite treats and the marijuana edibles that look just like them.

On Wednesday, a task force made up of public policy makers, industry professionals and health care providers discussed ways of standardizing labeling of products containing marijuana.

"I'm fully supportive of having any sort of packaging and labeling requirements," said Mason Tvert, Director of Communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. "That's why we passed this law. It's up to our elected officials, and our governor and his office to ensure that there are proper regulations on this."

Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, sponsored HB-1366, which, if signed by the governor, would require the Department of Revenue to "adopt rules requiring edible retail marijuana products to be shaped, stamped, colored, or otherwise marked with a standard symbol indicating that it contains marijuana and is not for consumption by children."

Sen. Linda Newell expects the rule-making process for the emerging retail marijuana industry to be an ongoing process.

"We're looking at about a decade, honestly, to figure out both with industry, with in-home, with access to children, with the whole regulatory scheme," said Newell. "I think that we're probably looking at a good decade of clean-up year after year to figure out how we're going to do this."

Besides the labeling itself, there's also the issue of serving sizes.

Under state law, marijuana based food products can contain 10 mg for each serving size.   However, one product can contain multiple servings, leaving it up to the user to divide the edible into a single dose.

"You don't expect someone to only eat a sixth of a cookie, you expect them to eat a cookie. If they want to have the effect of six cookies, they can eat six cookies," Tvert said. 

From cookies to candy, the way these pot infused products are packaged will likely get a makeover.
       
"From our perspective, the sooner the better," said Ron Kammerzell from the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Serving size is a big concern. A marijuana infused brownie is not meant to be consumed all at once.

Yet despite warnings, people are eating several doses at the same time and getting into trouble.

Now five months into recreational sales, a committee made of people for and against marijuana will help the Department of Revenue decide if changes need to be made to the labeling or the packaging.
 
One idea is to have individual servings instead of leaving it up to the buyer to break-up their brownie.    
Yet those in the emergency room stress public education is also part of preventing future problems.

"We just have to be more responsible about how we use it and how we store it.  Just making sure the public knows," said Dr. George Sam Wang of Children's Hospital.

Watch 7NEWS Monday at 10PM for an exclusive hidden camera look at what kids are doing when they see these edibles when their parents are not near them.  See the investigation that surprised kids and scared their parents -- only on 7NEWS at 10 p.m.

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