Colorado Marijuana regulators outline new packaging options for concentrates

click to enlarge A law imposing new packaging and labeling on extracted THC products will take effect in 2022. - JACQUELINE COLLINS

A law imposing new packaging and labeling for extracted THC products will take effect in 2022.

Jacqueline Collins

Colorado marijuana regulators are considering three options for packaging rules that would require serving size recommendations and information on educational resources associated with concentrated THC products.

Passed by Colorado law earlier this year, House proposal 1317 called on the state Marijuana Enforcement Division to create new restrictions on marijuana concentrates, including wax, splinter, bubble hash, kief, live resin, rosin evaporator cartridges and all other combustible extracted THC products by 10 November. At a government meeting last month, MED officials shared three options for serving sizes and potential points for educational resources on the legal and health risks associated with concentrated THC.

A MED proposal contains a recommendation per. Portion of 10 milligrams of THC, although the department acknowledges that displaying such a small amount visually is not realistic, as most marijuana concentrate products are sold in ranges of 0.5 and 1 gram.

Another option would be to put a visual marker the size of a grain of rice or 1/16 of a gram on the packaging to indicate portion size. However, some marijuana industries and health representatives participating in MED hearings claim that 1/16 gram is too large a portion for THC concentrates, which can range anywhere from 30 to 90 percent THC.

With one option, which MED considered too small and the other too large of stakeholders, government officials have proposed a third option: Adjusting serving size based on the product’s THC strength. The recommended size would be based on laboratory and bioavailability tests, and a serving could not exceed 40 milligrams of THC. However, addiction specialists and emergency physicians argued that it could lead to overconsumption.

While MED presented all three options during the recent consultation on MED rules, a more popular proposal was not on the official list. The proposal put forward by the marijuana law firm Vicente Sederberg requires that a small dot be printed on the packaging that is smaller than half a grain of rice but larger than a grain of sand. The dot should be clearly visible and the intention is that consumers can compare their portions or dabs with the dot.

Although Vicente Sederberg’s proposal received a positive reception from the government committee and MED officials, the dot idea does not address vaporizer cartridges filled with THC oil. MED, however, has hinted at the possibility that vaporizers could fall under separate rules.

All legal marijuana products in Colorado already contain warnings about long-term mental and physical health effects as well as against use during pregnancy or before driving, but HB 1317 required dispensaries to distribute health and legal information specifically about concentrated marijuana. While pharmacy owners and marijuana extractors have expressed concern about the environmental impact of including a booklet with every purchase, doctors and mental health specialists do not like the idea of ​​sharing the information via electronic QR codes.

In fact, mental health professionals and addiction counselors would also like to have addiction and suicide warnings included on any warning brochure, but the pot industry has pushed back on what it characterizes as over-regulation. MED’s proposed warnings, created in consultation with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, currently includes “psychotic symptoms and / or psychotic disorder”, “mental symptoms / problems”, “cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (CHS)” and “cannabis disorder.”

MED would also like to see information on the impact of marijuana use on the development of brains before the age of 25 and further warnings against supplying concentrated marijuana products to children on the booklet; it may also contain a legal warning regarding criminal sanctions for the sale of commercial marijuana products on the black market.

The new rules for packaging and booklets must be implemented on 1 January. Meanwhile, MED has another public hearing scheduled for November 1 and will still accept written comments until the final rules are announced on November 10.

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