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Edible pot review continues in Colorado

By: The Associated Press
May 15, 2014 Updated: May 15, 2014 at 7:19 pm
Caption +
FILE - This April 18, 2014 file photo shows edible marijuana products on display at a medical marijuana dispensary in Denver. Colorado's marijuana experiment is under threat by the very popularity of eating it instead of smoking it, so the pot industry is joining health officials and state regulators in studying the problem of consumers eating too much too quickly. They plan to meet Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at Children's Hospital Colorado to discuss the potency and serving size of pot edibles. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

GOLDEN — Producers of edible marijuana in Colorado met again Thursday with state regulators and health officials to come up with stricter standards for marijuana-infused foods.

From new warning labels on so-called "edibles" to requiring pot sellers to verbally warn consumers not to eat too much pot, the group is working in advance of a bill expected to be signed into law next week. The new law will require edible marijuana to be stamped or marked to state potency and that it is not for children.

The Department of Revenue, which is the state's marijuana regulator, suggested a new guideline on how marijuana is packaged.

Colorado already requires edible pot sold on the recreational market to come in serving sizes of 10 milligrams of marijuana's psychoactive chemical, with a maximum of 10 total servings. The proposed rule would require each of those servings to come individually wrapped, akin to individually wrapped caramels in a bag of candies.

"I think this is a decent compromise," said Rachel O'Brian, representing SMART Colorado, a group that fears legal marijuana is too accessible to children.

But some industry representatives argued the individual wrappings would be expensive and hard to apply to infused products like sodas and granola. Edible marijuana producers say they'd rather see products scored or marked, as in a break-apart chocolate bar, and not required to come individually wrapped.

"The cost of edibles on the marketplace will be much higher," said Julie Berliner, owner of Sweet Grass Kitchens, which makes marijuana-infused cookies.

The regulatory crackdown is being considered in the wake of two deaths linked to edible pot.

A college student from Wyoming jumped to his death from a Denver hotel balcony in March after consuming six times the recommended dosage of a marijuana-infused cookie. Last month, a Denver man accused of shooting his wife reportedly ate pot-laced candy before the attack, though police say he may have had other drugs in his system.

Marijuana producers suggested the main response should be greater education. Berliner proposed a color-coded warning card telling consumers they should wait two hours for edible marijuana to take effect. The labels would also borrow from ski-slope skill warnings, using green, blue and black labels to signify a product's potency.

The edible marijuana law would require new labeling standards by 2016.

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