Colorado panel considers new rules, limits on marijuana edibles; packaging also debated by experts

DENVER - Colorado marijuana regulators are looking to tighten the rules for pot edibles so that consumers don't accidentally eat or drink too much.

Among the new proposals is random testing of edible manufacturing facilities at least four times a year.

The enforcement group that was instated in April is also looking to tighten labeling and packaging guidelines for edibles.

On Wednesday, officials debated whether edibles should be packaged individually, like bite-sized Snickers bars, or whether they could be scored, like a Kit-Kat bar, allowing consumers to then break-off a serving that is stamped with a symbol, like a marijuana leaf, to indicate its serving size.

Rachel O'Bryan is with Smart Colorado, a group that wants to limit the negative consequences of legalized retail marijuana on Colorado's youth. She showed the group a bite-sized white chocolate raspberry truffle, which she said represented everything wrong with the edibles industry right now.

"Because what we end up with is a product that is 10 servings of marijuana in a bite-sized piece," said O'Bryan. "This is why people are dying."

The piece of chocolate O'Bryan displayed was infused with 100 milligrams of marijuana -- that is 10-times the allowable serving size.

"They put 10 servings in a bag and you're supposed to guess where one serving ends and another begins," said O'Bryan. "The consumer is confused."

"We want each individual consumer to come back and purchase again," said Eric Speidell with the Green Solution, Infusions Edibles. "The last thing we want to do is see a consumer have a bad experience."

Speidell said his company agrees with the 10 milligram max in each piece, and individual packaging.

"That actually allows us to get the most beginner consumer a safe access right out of the gate," he said.

But, not all manufacturers agree with the proposed limits. One argued the limits should be something decided upon by each manufacturer.

"I don't know that does the consumer any good, if serving sizes vary between manufacturers," said O'Bryan.

She said it's a market that opened well-before all the kinks were ironed out.

"And that was to the detriment of consumers," O'Bryan said. "We want to see no guessing."

The panel is made-up of industry representatives and health officials. It is also considering lowering the amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, to 5 milligrams per serving. And they are considering tamper-proof packaging to protect children.

The industry estimates that 10 million servings of edible marijuana have been sold in Colorado since January.       

The edible pot work group has been meeting since last month to try to find ways to prevent pot consumers from eating too much pot. The group is also considering new rules to make it less likely that children accidentally consume food and drinks infused with marijuana.

Edible marijuana products are increasingly popular in Colorado. But, the popularity of marijuana-infused cookies and sodas has raised concerns about over-consumption and accidental ingestion by kids.

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