In the ongoing effort to decide how to handle the regulation of marijuana edibles, the Colorado Department of Health is planning to recommend that all marijuana products need to go through an approval process before they can be sold. The worry is that some products are too appealing or confusing for children. From the Huffington Post:
A Health Department recommendation, obtained by The Associated Press in advance of a final meeting Monday on edible marijuana regulations, suggests a new state commission to give “pre-market approval” before food or drinks containing pot can be sold.
The recommendation comes a month after the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment suggested banning the sale of most kinds of edible pot. That suggestion was quickly retracted after it went public.
This is of course only a recommendation and it will be up to the state legislature to decide whether or not to adopt it.
If the legislature does adopt this rule, it won’t be an unprecedented move. After all the name of the organization behind Amendment 64 was the “Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol,” and this is basically how our government regulates alcohol.
Most people don’t know that before any new label for a beer reaches the market in this country it basically needs to be approved by one guy working in the Treasury Department. His name is Kent “Battle” Martin and he is an interesting character. There are several obscure regulations about what can and can’t appear on a beer label and this one guy is the main referee who every year decides if thousands of labels meet the rules.
If Colorado adopts this recommendation it will be end up recreating this federal job for beer at the state level for marijuana products. Once again our history of alcohol regulation seems to be a useful predictor of how we will treat legal marijuana.
That is the focus of my book After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy, which is now on sale for only $0.99.