Colorado Marijuana Regulators Propose Emergency Rule To Clarify Potency Of Pot Edibles

When a New York Times columnist is writing that she hallucinated that she was dead after eating more than the recommended dose of edible marijuana, while other consumers perhaps unused to judging the potency of pot are also complaining about confusing serving sizes, there’s a bit of pressure on Colorado regulators to come up with a solution. That’s why officials are reportedly prepping an emergency rule that would make it easier to tell how much pot is in edible pot products.

Because many of the people buying and eating these products are newbies, unlike medical marijuana users who are accustomed to stronger doses, regulators in the state want to make it clear exactly what a “serving” of the drug actually is.

Right now, makers of these products are required to have no more than 10 milligrams of THC in each serving — but some consumers are confused over what, exactly a serving is. Experienced consumers might know not to eat the whole cookie at once, for example, while unseasoned users may end up just shoving the whole thing in their mouths in one go.

The Associated Press reports that it’s seen a draft of the emergency rules ahead of their public release, and that they require edible pot products to physically demark things like candy bars and cookies so consumers can “intuitively determine” how much a dose is.

If the rules are approved by the governor, a rep from the state’s Department of Revenue told the AP they’d go into effect in November.

“The problem of people overdoing it with edibles, accidentally, is going to be very much taken care of with these new rules,” said one expert with the Marijuana Industry Group, which represents several large Denver dispensaries.

If a product can’t be physically marked with perforated foil, for example, a liquid, they’ll have to be in transparent bottles with opaque packaging, that would show consumers how much they’ve had. Sort of like a cough-syrup bottle with lines along the side.

Anything loose like a bag of candy or granola will have no more than 10 mg per package, essentially dividing things up into single servings instead of one big bag.

To put it another way — some people want to take shots, and others need to nurse a beer, explains a spokesman for Dixie Elixirs, a well-known edibles producer that’s started offering a soda with only 5 mg of THC, though it makes 40 and 75 mg sodas meant for sharing.

“Some people like drinking beer and some people like 151 rum,” he explained, comparing someone like a pot tourist to an experienced medical marijuana user. “For all those reasons, lower-dose products make sense,” he told USA Today. “There’s a definitely a subset of customers who want that … and I do believe that in many ways it’s the right thing to do.”

Colorado Tightening Edible Pot Rules [Associated Press]
Colorado tightening edible pot rules [USA Today]