Changes in CO Edibles Regulations and Infused Product Safety

As of October 1, Colorado joined many other states in cracking down on infused product safety regulations. When recreational sales began in the Centennial State in 2014, edibles and other marijuana infused products (MIPs) became far more popular than legislators had planned for. Concerns were quickly raised about things such as overconsumption, dose consistency and accidental ingestion. Trips to the hospital and calls to poison control increased, with the general public being fairly uneducated about what it feels like to over-consume cannabis edibles, and what to do when it happens (spoiler alert: you aren’t going to die!). The state got to work revising their rules and regulations and have since issued several rounds of improvements.

Products quickly had to be put in childproof packages, were required to undergo more rigorous testing for things like pesticide and mold residues, as well as potency, and items could be no more than 10mg of THC per serving size, with a total maximum of 100mg THC per package. Manufacturers are also required to include educational disclaimers on their packages about the delayed onset effect of edibles, something that can easily lead to a novice user overdoing it. Producers are also required to imprint the assigned THC warning symbol (a red diamond around “! THC”) on each 10mg item, and no item can be labeled with the word “candy” or “candies.”

The newest round of regulations prohibits edibles from being shaped like common candies, so you won’t be seeing any more gummy bears or peach rings on dispensary shelves. The packages also are required to more prominently display potency information. These new rules closely align with the restriction in place here in Rhode Island. Edible products can be no more than 10mg THC each, with a maximum of 50mg THC total in an opaque, childproof package that has been sealed without an easy-rip tab. While new regulation may feel constricting at first, the general consensus in the cannabis community is that it is for the overall benefit of this movement long-term. Safe, responsible cannabis legalization does not make space for children accidentally ingesting infused products, mistaking them for a sweet they might find at the grocery store.

What if you take too much?

It can be easy to exceed your threshold for a fun edibles high, and it requires trial and error to find your sweet spot. A person’s tolerance for edibles is completely individual, and is not correlated to your smoking tolerance. Some people can only tolerate 3-5mg THC at a time, whereas the next person of identical size and stature may need up to 100mg THC to feel any kind of buzz. “Start low, go slow” is the motto in Colorado and other states when beginning to use edibles. The effects can take up to two hours to kick in, so impatiently eating another cookie or two after a half hour can lead to an unpleasant experience. If you do happen to take too much, the best thing to do is find something relaxing to do while you wait it out. Drink water, take a nap, watch a movie — the only answer for this problem is time. Most edible highs wear off within 4 to 8 hours, so don’t try it for the first time before work or a busy day. There are no cannabinoid receptors in the brainstem (the region of the brain that controls heartbeat and respiration) so it is physically impossible to overdose. Many consumers find that edibles with some amount of CBD in them provide a more balanced, manageable effect, making it a better option for daytime use.

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