New cannabis regulations ban cartoon characters to increase safety

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Sara Tiradossi

New state regulations in Colorado are now banning edibles shaped like humans, animals or fruit, and products that resemble realistic animal fruit, including artistic, caricature, cartoon characters or fictional humans.

According to Mike Hartman, executive director for the Colorado Department of Revenue, the new regulations want to increase public safety and potency labels on cannabis.

“Marijuana products in shape and branding should not be enticing to children,” Hartman said. “We want consumers to be educated about the potency of the products they are buying and these rules ensure that to be the case.”

With the new regulations, potency must now be listed in bold font or highlighted and in larger text than the surrounding product text. Moreover, Colorado limits the amount of THC in edibles to 100 milligrams and 10 milligrams per serving.

On Oct. 1, Colorado had implemented rules that featured a universal diamond-shaped symbol on the front stating “Contains marijuana. Keep out of the reach of children.” The new rules did not allow the words “candy” or “candies” to appear on cannabis or cannabis packaging, unless they were part of the cannabis establishment’s name. In addition, each container of medical and social cannabis had to be labeled with necessary and relevant information for consumers, such as standard serving size, level of potency and contaminant testing statement.

“With the new universal symbol, people can more easily identify marijuana products, monitor their intake by serving size and avoid eating too much,” said Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Colorado officials from the Department of Revenue said the new regulations did not create a decline in demand. In 2014, Colorado dispensaries sold $32.5 million in medical cannabis and $14 million in social cannabis. In October, medical cannabis sales were up to $34 million, and social sales soared to $93.6 million statewide and $982,903 in Eagle County.