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The Denver Post: Labeling pot edibles

Published July 3, 2014 5:43 pm

The Denver Post
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In the world of edible marijuana products, one man's habitual serving could be another man's overdose.

Unfortunately, it's a miscalculation that can — and apparently has — ended in tragedy as Colorado has embarked upon an era of legalized recreational marijuana.

The state is preparing to address issues of serving sizes and packaging, with proposed rules due out later this month.

The rules should require the clear delineation of small-dose servings in every product. A draft proposal shows the state is going that way, and the final rules must maintain this priority.

It ought to be very clear — whether it's done through individual packaging or obvious scoring or marks (we'd prefer packaging when possible) — what constitutes a serving with a 10-milligram dose of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. One recommendation in the draft is for each serving to be stamped "10 THC" so there is no confusion.

And while there appears to be some consensus that the days of a single round cookie containing 100 mg of THC should be over, other details are complicated by the variability of edible products.

New equipment may be needed that isn't necessarily easily obtained in a business in which conventional loans are hard to come by. Nevertheless, safety has to come first.

In addition, there are heavy users who want to take in 100 mg or even more in one sitting. We're told they would rather not consume the calories in multiple candy bars or other products to get the effect they're looking for.

While we understand their position, it should not drive public policy intended to keep people from overdosing or worse.

The industry surely could come up with low-calorie products for those watching their waistlines.

Standardizing and clearly marking low-dose servings of marijuana will help protect consumers, especially neophytes, and it will give industry clear rules to follow.