Forewarned is forearmed
New packaging rules designed to make marijuana safer for adults and less appealing to children took effect Saturday
When dealing with potentially harmful products, we think the more information available to the consumer the better
In general, the more information a person has, the better decisions that person will be able to make.
That’s why we were happy to hear about the state of Colorado’s new rules governing the packaging of medical and recreational marijuana products.
The new rules — which were drafted through a cooperative effort between the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division and took effect Oct. 1 — are designed to promote public health and safety, raise awareness, help consumers more accurately identify marijuana products and discourage marijuana use by children.
Specifically, the rules state that all new medical and retail marijuana packaging must feature a standardized, universal symbol on the front.
In addition, the words “candy” or “candies” cannot appear on marijuana or marijuana packaging, unless these words are part of the marijuana establishment’s name, and each container of medical and retail marijuana must be labeled with relevant information for consumers, including a potency statement and a contaminant testing statement.
Health and physical benefit claims cannot be included on labels.
“Our priority is protecting the public health and safety of all Coloradans,” said Barbara Brohl, executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue. “We collaborated extensively with all stakeholders to develop sensible rules that will provide consumers more information about what they’re buying and to ensure marijuana stays out of the hands of children.”
In our opinion, these are sensible steps, and while we’re dubious these new labeling requirements will dissuade anyone from using marijuana, that doesn’t seem to be the point.
Marijuana is now a legal product in Colorado, and every adult must decide for his or herself whether or not to partake. But mandating the inclusion of potency and contaminant testing information on marijuana labels is merely a way of providing additional information to aid adults in making such decisions.
We are particularly gratified by the exclusion of the words “candy” and “candies” from marijuana packaging. Children are naturally curious, and who could fault them for wanting to sample their parents’ “candy.”
In April, we editorialized that a potential increase in youth marijuana use was one of the more worrisome unintended consequences of legalization. Our position on this has not changed, and if we can do anything to make marijuana less appealing to children, we should do it.
We applaud the state for its forward-thinking approach to adapt to the new frontier we have entered with the legalization of marijuana.
In our opinion, the new rules will not only help people more easily identify marijuana products and better understand serving sizes, they will also give parents and educators another tool to help identify marijuana products, even if unpackaged.
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