A selection of marijuana edibles available in Colorado. (Ed Andrieski, Associated Press file)

Tougher rules on Colorado marijuana edibles for serving size, child safety

Colorado’s recreational marijuana edible manufacturers face tougher rules on potency, serving size and packaging of their products under stopgap rules adopted by state regulators Thursday.

The new guidelines, crafted in response to concerns about overconsumption by inexperienced consumers, will do away with bite-sized products that pack in 100 milligrams of the psychoactive chemical THC — the maximum allowed by state law.

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Products still may contain up to 100 milligrams of THC, but they must be easily broken off into pieces that have 10 milligrams or fewer — the standardized edible serving size under state law.

In another change, manufacturers will be required to put single-serving edibles in child-resistant packaging before shipping them to stores, instead of relying on stores to provide the packaging as customers leave with their purchases.

Liquid edibles, such as sodas, also must be put in child-resistant containers that clearly mark each serving size.

The rules — which still must be made permanent in a process that will include public comment — would go into effect Nov. 1. They grew out of meetings with health officials, regulators, industry representatives and activists on both sides.

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“The Marijuana Enforcement Division’s primary concern is to ensure public safety,” Natriece Bryant, a spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue, wrote in an e-mail. “…The Marijuana Enforcement Division feels that clear serving size requirements within the industry is a vital part of responsible regulation.”

Rachel O’Bryan, a founding member of SMART Colorado, which supports tighter restrictions on marijuana, said the rules are a step in the right direction, but time will tell whether they go far enough.

Edibles manufacturers, responding to public demand, already have shifted to lower-potency edibles since recreational sales began Jan. 1, said Mike Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group.

“The free market has largely addressed this problem,” he said.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com