Marijuana-infused edibles are seen at Ganja Gourmet in Denver. (Anya Semenoff, Denver Post file)

Bill requiring more edibles safety rules OK’d by committee

A bill in the Colorado legislature to put extra safety restrictions on marijuana-infused edible products passed its first test Thursday.

The bill would require marijuana edibles to eventually be made in a unique shape or with a unique stamp or color to differentiate them from other food products. It would be up to the state Department of Revenue to figure out the exact regulations and have them in place by 2016.

The bill won unanimous approval in its first committee hearing Thursday, but it must survive several more votes in the session’s closing weeks to make it to the governor’s desk.

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Proponents of the bill, HB 1366, say it is needed to prevent accidental ingestion of marijuana-infused products — such as brownies or candies — once they are removed from their labeled packaging. Supporters say kids and adults alike have increasingly consumed marijuana products accidentally since the beginning of legal sales.

“Those products are deceptive because they are so much more than what they appear,” said Rachel O’Bryan, a member of the group Smart Colorado, which is concerned about the impacts of marijuana legalization on kids.

The bill has backing from some marijuana advocates, but others opposed it Thursday, arguing it would limit consumer choice and that public education campaigns would be more effective.

Several lawmakers brought up the death of Levi Thamba, a college student who jumped to his death last month after eating multiple servings of a marijuana edible. But Dan Anglin, with the infused-edibles company EdiPure, said the bill wouldn’t have prevented Thamba’s death. “He intended to consume marijuana,” Anglin said.

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