New Colorado Edible Requirements May Cost Thousands to Businesses
Following the high profile instances of inexperienced or unaware consumption of cannabis-infused edibles in Colorado, state lawmakers are looking to stricter regulations on the manufacture and packaging of THC-laden treats. These regulatory changes could cost licensed pot shops thousands of dollars in order to comply.
Currently, the law allows no more than 100 milligrams of active THC per package and 10mg of THC per serving. Inexperienced users like the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd then find themselves eating more of the product than is intended and suffering a very unpleasant marijuana experience. One young man even leaped off a hotel balcony to his death after reportedly consuming a cookie containing six standard doses, or 60mg of THC.
Complying with the current law is already difficult for some manufacturers. One recent investigation by the Denver Post involved the purchase and testing of many medicated chocolate bars labeled as containing 100mg THC. Some brands measured as high as 160mg THC and one manufacturer’s products had scarcely any THC in them at all. Improving the mixing and packaging process to provide consistent THC levels has already cost companies thousands in research and development.
Now, draft rules being considered by the state would eliminate any bite-sized products containing the maximum 100mg THC dosage. Products that defy precise serving sizes, like potato chips or granola, would be limited to 10mg per package. For edible confections that are molded, like chocolate bars, the bar would have to be divisible in 10mg chunks and the THC content would have to be imprinted on each chunk. For edible confections packaged in discreet units, like ten 10mg THC cookies in a package, there is still a question as to whether each cookie in the bag would have to be individually packaged.
State Rep. Frank McNulty, who is part of the group debating the draft rules, thinks the individually-wrapped cookie is a smart move. “From my perspective,” said McNulty, “having that signal to the consumer, to the user, that this is one serving and the fact they have to take an action to open and ingest it is a very reasonable step to ensure they understand what they are ingesting.”
One business owner claims the new regulations would be cost-prohibitive and that the customers want edibles of stronger potency than 10mg. He claims the new molds and processes to conform to these regulations could cost $30,000 to $40,000.
The state hopes that stiffer requirements for the production and labeling of any product containing more than 10mg will lead manufacturers to voluntarily make 10mg the maximum for any edibles package. As an additional incentive, the manufacturers will face less-stringent testing of their products by the state if they’re packaged at less than 10mg THC apiece.