We can expect to see similar regulator fights play out over edibles in every state that legalizes marijuana

The days of commercial pot brownies in Colorado could be numbered. Colorado officials might significantly limit the ways adults can consume marijuana orally. From the AP:

Colorado health officials want to ban many edible forms of marijuana, including brownies, cookies and most candies, limiting legal sales of pot-infused food to lozenges and some liquids.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment told marijuana regulators that many forms of edible marijuana “are naturally attractive to children” and violate the law’s “requirement to prevent the marketing of marijuana products to children.”

It is worth noting these recommendations are only the beginning of the process to potentially change the rules. They won’t necessarily be adopted.

The actual danger of anyone accidentally consuming a cannabis cookie not knowing it contained marijuana is small, but it is a concern that’s received a disproportionate amount of media attention, and has become the number one point of attack by opponents.

Given that marijuana consumers make up only a modest percentage of voters, the marginal increase in enjoyment a marijuana consumer gets from a cannabis cookie over a cannabis lozenge is small, and the negative media attention directed at edibles is significant right now, so this move is not surprising. I even predicted a push for recommendations exactly like this a year ago in my book, After Legalization.

It seems there are essentially two politically feasible paths forward when it comes to how marijuana edibles are treated. Either most of the industry proactively works with regulators aggressively on idiot-proof packaging, shape, and warning rules — or we see a blanket ban on most forms of edibles.

This is worth watching because we can expect to see similar regulatory fights play out in every state that legalizes marijuana.

Photo by earthworm under creative commons license

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com