Marijuana-infused brownies are divided and packaged at The Growing Kitchen in Boulder in September 2014. (Brennan Linsley, Associated Press file)

New Colorado bill scraps plans for changing look of pot edibles

DENVER — Colorado may give up on one of its toughest marijuana problems to emerge in the new market — making sure that edible pot products can’t be confused with regular foods.

A bill up for its first vote Wednesday would repeal a 2014 Colorado requirement requiring pot foods to have a distinct look when out of the packaging. The bill strikes a requirement that edible pot be “clearly identifiable … with a standard symbol indicating that it contains marijuana and is not for consumption by children.”

The sponsor of the measure, Republican Sen. Owen Hill of Colorado Springs, said he’ll suggest an amendment Wednesday to revive the requirement, but not for all foods.

A months-long panel of doctors, pot regulators and edible-marijuana makers failed to agree last year on how to make those foods “clearly identifiable” when out of the wrapper. A stamp or marking may work for chocolates or candies, but not marijuana-infused liquids, sauces or bulk foods such as loose granola.

“We’re trying to give (marijuana regulators) the flexibility to deal with the unique character of each individual edible,” Hill said.

But there will be feisty opposition to any suggestion that not all forms of edible pot need to have a distinct look.

Some popular Colorado marijuana manufacturers simply buy pre-made treats and spray them with cannabis-infused oils, while others make candies or treats that could be confused for treats attractive to children.

“The least we can do is let consumers know there’s marijuana in a product. It’s a basic public health and safety concern,” said Gina Carbone of the group Smart Colorado, which lobbies for policies to keep legal pot away from minors.

The sponsor of last year’s law said he’ll resist any changes.

“People need to know what they’re putting in their bodies, whether it’s a marijuana cookie or an Oreo cookie. You should be able to look at something and know what you’re putting in your body,” said Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont.

Singer vowed to suggest an amendment if the Senate bill doesn’t go far enough. “Marijuana products outside their packaging still need to look like marijuana products,” he said.

Online: Senate Bill 136

Kristen Wyatt can be reached on Twitter: APkristenwyatt