Following is a press release explaining the significance of today’s state marijuana law enforcement meeting in Golden, CO. This panel meeting discusses how to implement a law requiring all marijuana food products to be “clearly identifiable” from their normal food counterparts after they have been removed from their original packaging.
With many examples of accidental consumption of marijuana, this meeting is an important event determining the safety of Colorado youth and adults.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Smart Colorado Founding Member
Smart Colorado Calls for Comprehensive Enforcement
of Clearly-Distinguishable Edibles at Colorado’s Marijuana
Enforcement Division Rule-Making Meeting
September 11, 2014
DENVER (September 11, 2014) — Today, Smart Colorado called for clearly-marked marijuana edibles at a rulemaking session to determine how to implement Colorado H.B. 14-1366. This bipartisan bill, initiated and sponsored by youth health advocacy group Smart Colorado and other key and important stakeholders, requires all food products containing marijuana to be clearly distinguishable from regular products once removed from original packaging. When it was presented, the bill received overwhelming support from the majority of legislators in both the House and Senate with many legislators declaring it as an important, basic right and protection for all Coloradans.
The hearing today will discuss how the new law should be implemented statewide. Smart Colorado’s aim is to protect kids and adults by advocating that this law is strictly enforced across all types of marijuana products including baked goods, bulk foods, chocolate, liquids like soft drinks, hard and soft candy, sauces, etc.
“The original purpose of this legislation was to address the incredible risks, uncertainties, and confusion surrounding these products that are too often presented in a highly deceptive way,” says Diane Carlson, founding member of Smart Colorado. “We want to reduce the number of accidental ingestions, especially among children, and give teenagers and adults the tools and support they need to protect themselves and their loved ones as they navigate an increasingly dangerous and complex environment when it comes to highly potent marijuana infused products.”
Currently, marijuana is infused into, sprayed onto, and injected into over 200 kinds of edible products including candy, liquids, granola, cookies, and crackers. These edible products make up an estimated 40 percent of the entire retail marijuana market.
The concentrated THC levels found in many of these products can be extremely high, much higher than products available in previous decades. When consumed accidentally, the results can be dangerous.
In Basalt, CO, a 7-year-old was hospitalized after her mother unknowingly brought home marijuana candy for her daughter in June. (9News, June 25, 2014)
A young girl in Chippewa Falls, WI consumed a chocolate bar from a Colorado retailer smaller than a dollar bill but infused with 225mg of THC (or 22.5 doses) and went to the hospital with an indiscernibly weak pulse. She found the chocolate bar in the family home. (Dunn County News, September 1, 2014)
An 18-year-old housekeeper ate a leftover chocolate bar in Steamboat Springs this March, not knowing it was infused with marijuana. After eating the entire bar, the housekeeper needed his co-workers to call an ambulance. (Steamboat Today, March 11, 2014)
Not only do these particular cases demand attention and mitigation through regulation like H.B. 14-1366, but overall trends among youth also show an increasing health and safety risk. News reports and scientific data since marijuana has become highly commercialized in Colorado outline a rising number of underage children ingesting marijuana unconsciously or unaware of the dangers. A few notable statistics that illustrate these troubling conditions include:
- Nearly half of all high school students do not believe that regular marijuana use presents at least a moderate risk to the user. (2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey)
- 67 percent of high school students in Colorado believe they won’t be caught using marijuana. (2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey)
- Marijuana-related hospitalizations increased 66 percent from pre-commercialization (2005-2008) to post commercialization (2010-2013). (Colorado Hospital Association & Colorado Department of Public Health)
- Marijuana-related exposures for children ages 0 to 5 increased 268 percent on average over the past 8 years. (Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, Annual Reports, 2006 – January 31, 2014)
- Over the past year, almost 20 percent of Colorado high school students were considered current users, that is, had used marijuana within the past 30 days. (2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey)
- The majority of drug-related suspensions and expulsions increased 32 percent from 2008 to 2013. (Colorado Department of Education, Suspension/Expulsion Statistics, 2005-2013)
To prevent accidental ingestion of marijuana and to help teachers, law enforcement, and parents instantly determine if a product is safe for children, Smart Colorado worked with concerned citizens to pass H.B. 14-1366. The legislators have been clear about their intent, and now it is up to the State to create the regulations necessary to ensure that all marijuana food items are identified or marked. Coloradans of all ages deserve full disclosure about the presence of marijuana in common food and household items in order to make informed decisions as individuals, families, and public health and school officials.
In order for these efforts to protect Colorado youth to succeed, Smart Colorado and its supporters will continue to advocate for the full enforcement of this law at the September 11th meeting in front of the state agency responsible for regulating the retail recreational marijuana market.
ABOUT SMART COLORADO
Smart Colorado is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the health, safety and well-being of Colorado youth as marijuana becomes increasingly available and commercialized. To learn more about Smart Colorado, please visit