At this hour, a rule-making meeting is underway in regard to implementing a law that requires marijuana edibles to look different from standard food products; click here for more information. However, a bombshell has already dropped: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Jeff Lawrence has formally recommended that the State of Colorado ban all pot edibles with the exception of lozenges and tinctures.
Look below to see Lawrence's recommendations in their entirety; the document was initially obtained by 9News. However, here's an excerpt from a section in which Lawrence summarizes the reasons for such a move:
To allow the production of retail marijuana edibles that are naturally attractive to children is counter to the Amendment 64 requirement to prevent the marketing of marijuana products to children. The intent of the Amendment and subsequent laws and rules was to decriminalize the use of retail marijuana, not to encourage market expansion within the marijuana edibles industry that subsequently create potential consumer confusion or mixed messages to children.
The intent of producing edible products (marijuana infused or otherwise) is to make them attractive to consumers. Attempts to mask this attractiveness through the use of post hoc labeling on market-targeted edible products are contradictory and any assumed effectiveness would be suspect. Disallowing the production of a limited scope of certain products supports the requirements of Amendment 64, including the prevention of marketing or the provision of the marijuana-infused products to children.
To be clear, Lawrence's word is hardly the last one. As noted by 9News, the final decision on edibles will be determined by the Department of Revenue, the state office that oversees marijuana sales. However, having a state official make such a recommendation is guaranteed to cause a storm of responses from those on every side of the issue.
Our Amber Taufen is at the meeting and will offer a full report on these and other developments. In the meantime, here's a press release from Smart Colorado, an organization that opposes greater availability of marijuana, followed by the Lawrence document.
Smart Colorado press release:
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Smart Colorado Applauds the Leadership of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Marijuana Edibles
DENVER (October 20, 2014) -- Today, Jeff Lawrence of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced his recommendation to ban marijuana edibles with the exception of lozenges and tinctures.
Diane Carlson, a founding member of Smart Colorado, offered a statement on this news:
"The concerns raised by CDPHE are legitimate and are critical issues that must be addressed in order to protect the health, well-being, and future of our youth as marijuana becomes increasingly available and commercialized within the state. Marijuana edibles in the form of familiar food and candy are inherently appealing to kids and therefore a dangerous form of marketing.
We applaud the CDPHE's initiative and trust that the suggestions of our state's public health experts will be seriously considered and pursued."
Smart Colorado and concerned Coloradans will be present this afternoon at the Marijuana Enforcement Division rule-making meeting to review suggestions from the CDPHE and others regarding the implementation of H.B. 14-1366, which requires that all marijuana products be clearly identifiable from their normal, non-infused counterparts.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.