Marijuana regulators consider how to label edibles

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DENVER -- State marijuana regulators listened to feedback on a number of topics at a public hearing Monday, including the best way to identify edibles. The issue is how best to mark them to keep them safe from children.

Smart Colorado favors a red stop sign design with the letters "THC" in the middle. Another option is a "diamond-like" symbol with the letters "THC" stamped in the middle.

"We are disappointed that the division  has backed off a universal symbol of a stop ... instead opting for a colorless, ambiguous shape that will be difficult to see and lack any real meaning," said Gina Carbone, a co-founder of Smart Colorado.

The group has started a red stop sign campaign.

Those on the other side of the issue say the marijuana panel needs to look both ways before continuing.

"I have yet to leave a liquor store with a childproof Coors Light. I have seen a childproof Budweiser ... and the only exit bag I get when I leave a liquor store is a brown bag," said Chris Jetter of Ibannabi. "So if we're gonna' regulate it like alcohol, then why are we regulating it like medical marijuana?"

It's part of a draft of rules by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement and Taxation Division of the Department of Revenue to help better differentiate pot edibles from regular candy products.

The new labeling with the letters "THC" would be used to indicate the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It would have to be on individual edibles, not just labels. Liquid marijuana products would be limited to single-serve packaging.

Tommy Moore, spokesman for the state agency, said pot dispensaries "will still be allowed to sell marijuana infused chocolate bars and other candies."

Moore added the proposed rules would also "prohibit the production and sale of edible products that resemble trademarked or otherwise commonly familiar commercial food products."

"The universal symbol of a red stop sign combined with the words THC provides the public a visible way of identifying marijuana while signaling risks are involved," said Diane Carlson of Smart Colorado.

"This comprehensive approach will ensure children and teenagers are better protected by providing a tool that allows everyone to know when and if marijuana is in a food, candy or soda.  It also provides adults a way to discern whether or not a marijuana product has been purchased on the legal market."

Smart Colorado urges the public to communicate its ideas about this issue to the Marijuana Enforcement Division via email before the public comment period ends Tuesday.