Colorado officials are considering stricter rules for marijuana edible products such as candies, cookies and brownies, USA Today reports.
The proposed rules would make it easier to determine how much marijuana is contained in each portion of edible products. The rules would apply to recreational marijuana, not medical marijuana. They are designed to reduce dangerous side effects from consuming large amounts of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
A “serving” of marijuana is 10 milligrams of THC under Colorado rules. It can be difficult to tell exactly how much THC is in an individual cookie or brownie, the article notes. Many marijuana edibles contain 100 milligrams of THC, and are meant to be broken into multiple pieces to avoid overdosing.
Some producers of marijuana edibles are already starting to make lower-dose products. Dixie Elixrs makes soda with 40 or 75 milligrams of THC, which are meant to be shared, according to company spokesman Joe Hodas. The company began making a soda containing 5 milligrams in June. Hodas said some people, especially tourists, are consuming much more marijuana than they intend.
The proposed Colorado rules are similar to those in effect in Washington state, which also permits sales of recreational marijuana.
Edible marijuana products have become a popular alternative to smoking marijuana in Colorado this year, since retail sales of the products became legal on January 1. Adults 21 and over can legally purchase marijuana edibles at state-licensed stores. Marijuana is now available in products ranging from candy to soda and granola.
Earlier this year, health officials reported legal marijuana edible products were linked to two deaths and an increase in emergency room visits in Colorado. The amount of marijuana in edible products varies widely. In some cases, products contain levels so high that people experience extreme paranoia and anxiety.