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Colorado panel considers new look for edible pot

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GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — Marijuana can go in more than brownies and cookies. And the dizzying variety of foods that can be infused with the drug is complicating matters for Colorado regulators who want to make sure pot-infused edibles and drinks won’t be confused with regular foods.

A first meeting Friday of edible marijuana makers, state regulators and pot critics ran into controversy early. Many seem to agree that pot cookies and candies should come with identifiable markers or colors. But what about marijuana-infused honey? Or pasta sauce?

Colorado opened recreational marijuana to adults over 21 in January. Since then, sales have boomed for edible pot, considered a tastier or healthier alternative to smoking weed. Now regulators are looking for ways to make sure no one accidentally eats or drinks the drug.

“I want to know what’s a Duncan Hines brownie and what’s a marijuana brownie, just by looking at it. Whether you’re 5 or 50, people need to know what that is,” said Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, who sponsored the new law requiring edible marijuana to be “clearly identifiable.”

Marijuana food and drink makers helping write those regulations didn’t seem to oppose stamps or marks on easily-marked products like hard candies or chocolate bars.

But the workgroup tripped up when contemplating all the varieties of foods that can be infused with marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC. Liquids, powdered drink mixes, even meats and cereals can be infused with THC.

“How are we going to be able to make these edibles identifiable to the public, so that they know this is marijuana? This is a very, very heavy lift,” said Gina Carbone, a volunteer for SMART Colorado, a group critical of the marijuana industry.

Carbone suggested that some edible marijuana products – such as lollipops or gummy bears – shouldn’t be allowed for commercial sale because they are likely to appeal to kids.

“We’re going to allow every edible imaginable, versus another approach where edibles are regulated,” Carbone said after suggesting some products should be taken off store shelves.

But the suggestion got a sour reaction from industry operators and Singer, all of whom argued that the black market already produces unregulated edibles, and that banning food people want to eat is a bad idea.

“We’re here to identify products, not to limit items on the market,” said Jaime Lewis of Mountain Medicine, which makes pot-infused sweets such as pie bars and chocolate-covered pretzels.

The panel made no decisions Friday and plans to meet twice more before making a recommendation to the Colorado Legislature in February.

The meeting came a day after Colorado adopted emergency edible-pot rules aimed at making it easier for consumers to tell how much pot they’re eating. The new rules require edible products to be easily divisible into “servings” of 10 mg of THC, about the amount in a medium-sized joint.

Colorado’s rules already require edible pot to be sold in “servings” of 10 milligrams of THC. But many consumers have complained they can’t tell what a serving is and eat too much of a heavily dosed product. Those stronger-dosed edibles are holdovers from the medical pot marketplace, where sellers say consumers who have built up strong tolerances won’t buy anything that has a dosage less than 100 milligrams of THC.

Kristen Wyatt can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt

Colorado panel considers new look for edible pot

KDWN

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — Marijuana can go in more than brownies and cookies. And the dizzying variety of foods that can be infused with the drug is complicating matters for Colorado regulators who want to make sure pot-infused edibles and drinks won’t be confused with regular foods.

A first meeting Friday of edible marijuana makers, state regulators and pot critics ran into controversy early. Many seem to agree that pot cookies and candies should come with identifiable markers or colors. But what about marijuana-infused honey? Or pasta sauce?

Colorado opened recreational marijuana to adults over 21 in January. Since then, sales have boomed for edible pot, considered a tastier or healthier alternative to smoking weed. Now regulators are looking for ways to make sure no one accidentally eats or drinks the drug.

“I want to know what’s a Duncan Hines brownie and what’s a marijuana brownie, just by looking at it. Whether you’re 5 or 50, people need to know what that is,” said Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, who sponsored the new law requiring edible marijuana to be “clearly identifiable.”

Marijuana food and drink makers helping write those regulations didn’t seem to oppose stamps or marks on easily-marked products like hard candies or chocolate bars.

But the workgroup tripped up when contemplating all the varieties of foods that can be infused with marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC. Liquids, powdered drink mixes, even meats and cereals can be infused with THC.

“How are we going to be able to make these edibles identifiable to the public, so that they know this is marijuana? This is a very, very heavy lift,” said Gina Carbone, a volunteer for SMART Colorado, a group critical of the marijuana industry.

Carbone suggested that some edible marijuana products – such as lollipops or gummy bears – shouldn’t be allowed for commercial sale because they are likely to appeal to kids.

“We’re going to allow every edible imaginable, versus another approach where edibles are regulated,” Carbone said after suggesting some products should be taken off store shelves.

But the suggestion got a sour reaction from industry operators and Singer, all of whom argued that the black market already produces unregulated edibles, and that banning food people want to eat is a bad idea.

“We’re here to identify products, not to limit items on the market,” said Jaime Lewis of Mountain Medicine, which makes pot-infused sweets such as pie bars and chocolate-covered pretzels.

The panel made no decisions Friday and plans to meet twice more before making a recommendation to the Colorado Legislature in February.

The meeting came a day after Colorado adopted emergency edible-pot rules aimed at making it easier for consumers to tell how much pot they’re eating. The new rules require edible products to be easily divisible into “servings” of 10 mg of THC, about the amount in a medium-sized joint.

Colorado’s rules already require edible pot to be sold in “servings” of 10 milligrams of THC. But many consumers have complained they can’t tell what a serving is and eat too much of a heavily dosed product. Those stronger-dosed edibles are holdovers from the medical pot marketplace, where sellers say consumers who have built up strong tolerances won’t buy anything that has a dosage less than 100 milligrams of THC.

Kristen Wyatt can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt

Colorado panel considers new look for edible pot

KDWN

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — Marijuana can go in more than brownies and cookies. And the dizzying variety of foods that can be infused with the drug is complicating matters for Colorado regulators who want to make sure pot-infused edibles and drinks won’t be confused with regular foods.

A first meeting Friday of edible marijuana makers, state regulators and pot critics ran into controversy early. Many seem to agree that pot cookies and candies should come with identifiable markers or colors. But what about marijuana-infused honey? Or pasta sauce?

Colorado opened recreational marijuana to adults over 21 in January. Since then, sales have boomed for edible pot, considered a tastier or healthier alternative to smoking weed. Now regulators are looking for ways to make sure no one accidentally eats or drinks pot.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Edible marijuana comes with all kinds of warning labels in Colorado. But once those pot brownies and gummy bears are out of the package, they can look identical to straight-laced treats.

A panel of marijuana producers and industry critics starts work Friday on trying to make edible pot identifiable to kids even when it’s out of the package, a challenge some edible-pot makers say can’t be achieved.

Colorado, which has legalized the recreational use of marijuana, currently requires edible pot to be sold in child-safe packages to note that the contents contain marijuana, that the product can make consumers sick and that it shouldn’t be consumed before driving.

But Colorado lawmakers tightened the edible-pot regulations earlier this year after reports of children accidentally eating pot-infused treats. Lawmakers passed around platters of chocolate chip cookies, some of them containing pot, and expressed alarm that the products looked identical.

“We’ve heard so many stories pf people consuming marijuana not knowing it was marijuana,” said Rachel O’Bryan, an attorney and founding volunteer leader of SMART Colorado, a group that advocates for strict marijuana regulations.

“Without a stamp or a clearly visible difference, these products are deceptive.”

Edible-pot makers insist they’re not trying to fool anybody, but that requiring the products themselves not to look like other foods goes too far.

“It works for some products, but others, it’s going to be extremely hard and more than likely impracticable,” said Julie Berliner, owner of Sweet Grass Kitchen, which makes marijuana-infused cookies.

Others in the industry argue that stamping a chocolate with a pot leaf, for example, does little to prevent consumption by kids too young to read.

The rules are in addition to edible-pot packaging restrictions already in the works.

A draft emergency rule awaiting the governor’s approval requires Colorado’s makers of edible pot to physically demark their products so that consumers can “intuitively determine” how much constitutes a dose of marijuana’s intoxicating ingredient, THC.

A spokeswoman for the Colorado agency that prepared the rules couldn’t comment on them because they have not been made public. But Natriece Bryant of the state Department of Revenue confirmed that the rules take effect in November if approved by the governor, as expected. The final rule could differ from the draft obtained by AP.

Colorado’s rules already require edible pot to be sold in “servings” of 10 milligrams of THC. But many consumers have complained they can’t tell what a serving is and eat too much of a heavily dosed product, leading to many reports of unpleasant experiences, including nausea and feelings of paralysis. Those stronger-dosed edibles are holdovers from the medical pot marketplace, where sellers say consumers who have built up strong tolerances won’t buy anything that has a dosage less than 100 milligrams of THC.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in June of going into a “hallucinatory state” after visiting Colorado and eating too much pot candy. An edible pot cookie has been blamed for the death earlier this year of a college student who ate more than six times the suggested dose and then fell to his death from a hotel balcony.

Kristen Wyatt can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt

Colorado panel considers new look for edible pot

KDWN

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — Edible marijuana comes with all kinds of warning labels in Colorado. But once those pot brownies and gummy bears are out of the package, they can look identical to straight-laced treats.

A panel of marijuana producers and industry critics starts work Friday on trying to make edible pot identifiable to kids even when it’s out of the package, a challenge some edible-pot makers say can’t be achieved.

Colorado, which has legalized the recreational use of marijuana, currently requires edible pot to be sold in child-safe packages to note that the contents contain marijuana, that the product can make consumers sick and that it shouldn’t be consumed before driving.

But Colorado lawmakers tightened the edible-pot regulations earlier this year after reports of children accidentally eating pot-infused treats. Lawmakers passed around platters of chocolate chip cookies, some of them containing pot, and expressed alarm that the products looked identical.

“We’ve heard so many stories pf people consuming marijuana not knowing it was marijuana,” said Rachel O’Bryan, an attorney and founding volunteer leader of SMART Colorado, a group that advocates for strict marijuana regulations.

“Without a stamp or a clearly visible difference, these products are deceptive.”

Edible-pot makers insist they’re not trying to fool anybody, but that requiring the products themselves not to look like other foods goes too far.

“It works for some products, but others, it’s going to be extremely hard and more than likely impracticable,” said Julie Berliner, owner of Sweet Grass Kitchen, which makes marijuana-infused cookies.

Others in the industry argue that stamping a chocolate with a pot leaf, for example, does little to prevent consumption by kids too young to read.

The rules are in addition to edible-pot packaging restrictions already in the works.

A draft emergency rule awaiting the governor’s approval requires Colorado’s makers of edible pot to physically demark their products so that consumers can “intuitively determine” how much constitutes a dose of marijuana’s intoxicating ingredient, THC.

A spokeswoman for the Colorado agency that prepared the rules couldn’t comment on them because they have not been made public. But Natriece Bryant of the state Department of Revenue confirmed that the rules take effect in November if approved by the governor, as expected. The final rule could differ from the draft obtained by AP.

Colorado’s rules already require edible pot to be sold in “servings” of 10 milligrams of THC. But many consumers have complained they can’t tell what a serving is and eat too much of a heavily dosed product, leading to many reports of unpleasant experiences, including nausea and feelings of paralysis. Those stronger-dosed edibles are holdovers from the medical pot marketplace, where sellers say consumers who have built up strong tolerances won’t buy anything that has a dosage less than 100 milligrams of THC.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in June of going into a “hallucinatory state” after visiting Colorado and eating too much pot candy. An edible pot cookie has been blamed for the death earlier this year of a college student who ate more than six times the suggested dose and then fell to his death from a hotel balcony.

Kristen Wyatt can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt

Colorado panel considers new look for edible pot

KDWN

DENVER (AP) — Edible marijuana comes with all kinds of warning labels in Colorado. But once those pot brownies and gummy bears are out of the package, they can look identical to straight-laced treats.

A panel of marijuana producers and industry critics start work Friday on trying to make edible pot identifiable to kids even when it’s out of the package, a challenge some edible-pot makers say can’t be achieved.

Colorado, which has legalized the recreational use of marijuana, currently requires edible pot to be sold in child-safe packages to note that the contents contain marijuana, that the product can make consumers sick and shouldn’t be consumed before driving.

But Colorado lawmakers tightened the edible pot regulations earlier this year after reports of children accidentally eating pot-infused treats. Lawmakers passed around platters of chocolate chip cookies, some of them containing pot, and expressed alarm that the products looked identical.

“We’ve heard so many stories pf people consuming marijuana not knowing it was marijuana,” said Rachel O’Bryan is an attorney and founding volunteer leader of Smart Colorado, a group that advocates for strict marijuana regulations.

“Without a stamp or a clearly visible difference, these products are deceptive.”

Edible-pot makers insist they’re not trying to fool anybody, but that requiring the products themselves not to look like other foods goes too far.

“It works for some products, but others, it’s going to be extremely hard and more than likely impracticable,” said Julie Berliner, owner of SweetGrass Kitchens, which makes marijuana-infused cookies.

Others in the industry argue that stamping a chocolate with a pot leaf, for example, does little to prevent consumption by kids too young to read.

The rules are in addition to edible-pot packaging restrictions already in the works.

A draft emergency rule awaiting the governor’s approval requires Colorado’s makers of edible pot to physically demark their products so that consumers can “intuitively determine” how much constitutes a dose of marijuana’s intoxicating ingredient, THC.

A spokeswoman for the Colorado agency that prepared the rules couldn’t comment on them because they have not been made public. But Natriece Bryant of the state Department of Revenue confirmed that the rules take effect in November if approved by the governor, as expected. The final rule could differ from the draft obtained by AP.

Colorado’s rules already require edible pot to be sold in “servings” of 10 milligrams of THC. But many consumers have complained they can’t tell what a serving is and eat too much of a heavily-dosed product, leading to many reports of unpleasant experiences, including nausea and feelings of paralysis. Those stronger-dosed edibles are holdovers from the medical pot marketplace, where sellers say consumers who have built up strong tolerances won’t buy anything that has a dosage less than 100 milligrams of THC.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in June of going into a “hallucinatory state” after visiting Colorado and eating too much pot candy. And an edible pot cookie has been blamed for the death earlier this year of a college student who ate more than six times the suggested dose and then fell to his death from a hotel balcony.

Kristen Wyatt can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt