Colorado lawmakers push to include potency in marijuana edibles labeling

DENVER - A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is pushing to improve package labeling for marijuana-infused foods and drinks in Colorado.

While it is now standard to list ingredients on the containers of marijuana "edibles" -- including baked goods, candy and soft drinks -- the current labeling doesn't include the product's potency.

Consumers say the "high" from eating a particular product can vary because of different levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

The goal is to label pot products in a similar way as beer -- where the percentage of alcohol is listed, said State Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont.

Singer said there is pressure on the state to take action before the federal government gets involved and takes the regulatory authority away from Colorado.

From brownies to candy to soft drinks, the list of pot-infused products is plentiful on the shelves at Starbuds, a Denver dispensary.

"There's chocolates, there's caramels, there's all sorts," said Starbuds operator Brian Ruden.

While these marijuana munchies all contain 100 milligrams of THC, the intensity of that high isn't always consistent.

"Depending on how strong the [THC] concentration is…that's going to affect how strong the edible is," said Ruden.

That's why Democrats and Republicans are working a system to test these products on a regular basis, so the user can look at the label to see just how stoned they'll really get.

"When you mix the ingredients together, you're not necessarily going to get the same amount of flour and sugar and eggs and THC in every corner of that," Singer said.

The move by the legislature is welcomed by an industry that's making green by selling green.

"The more consistent and the more people really understand what they're getting and how much of that product to eat, the better," said Ruden.

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