Legalized Pot Becomes Food-Safety Headache

Colorado, Washington state try to forge smart regulations

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 1, 2014 6:15 PM CDT | Updated Aug 1, 2014 6:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – In Colorado, regulators sat down with marijuana makers and critics today to tackle a complex issue: pot and food safety, the AP reports. Their goal: make pot-infused products clearly labeled for the general public. They agreed that it's easy for some products, like candies and pot cookies, but what about meats, liquids, and powdered drink mixes? "This is a very, very heavy lift," said a critic of the marijuana industry. The regulators also plan to standardize serving sizes so that each bite contains only about 10mg of THC, pot's psychoactive ingredient, and make sure marijuana drinks come in child-resistant containers, the Denver Post reports.

Like Colorado, Washington state has already limited how many ounces of pot a customer can buy per purchase—but with marijuana so much stronger than in decades past, a newcomer might still down a few edibles and ingest enough THC "to knock over an elephant," an expert tells the International Business Times. And without the FDA's help, how can states ensure that THC is evenly distributed in a batch of cookies or brownies? A report that generally lauds Colorado's transition to legalized pot highlights other problems—like the fact that some buyers will eat too much of certain pot edibles, not realizing they take 30-60 minutes to kick in, io9 reports. "There’s a strong need for any consumer to be well informed," says a pot expert. "That does not mean judged, shamed, blamed or glorified; it just means we owe it to consumers of marijuana to give them accurate, accessible information." (Read about Maureen Dowd's shocking experience with pot-edibles.)

Cookies containing marijuana are shown for sale at the San Francisco Medical Cannabis Clinic in San Francisco, Monday, Oct. 19, 2009.
Cookies containing marijuana are shown for sale at the San Francisco Medical Cannabis Clinic in San Francisco, Monday, Oct. 19, 2009.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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