The medical marijuana edible industry in Colorado is preparing for a new law prohibiting edibles shaped as fruit, people, or animals effective October 1st. This law is meant to deter marketing to children and edible companies are taking it in stride.
The new standards regulating edibles haven't been a huge obstacle for medical marijuana edible manufacturers. Most have seen the writing on the wall as similar regulations have already taken effect in Washington state.
Even though fruit, animals and people shaped candies will be removed from dispensary shelves, the new law exempts marijuana leaf shaped edibles. This is reasonable considering if you decide to eat a marijuana shaped candy you probably know what you're ingesting.
Most of the manufacturers who are effected by the new law have already made adjustments and will roll out their new stock beginning October 1st. This isn't the first time marijuana edibles have had to change for state regulations at a moments notice. In February of 2015, Colorado edible manufacturers were required to change their packaging.
All edibles had to be individually wrapped and contain 10mg or less of THC to be legally sold. Also the dosage was required to be clearly stated on all packaging. These types of changes can be costly, but most manufacturers are learning to anticipate changing regulations. Many companies have reduced the dosage lower than 10mg to prevent any chance of product forfeiture.
The lesson marijuana edible manufacturers are learning is to stay flexible when it comes to state policy. Even small changes can set back a company that has invested in a large amount of stock. Edible companies must meet market demand without buying too much stock. Should they need to shift at a moments notice manufacturers want to be ready.
Many edible companies have had to drop their price point significantly to sell old stock before the mandates take effect. Exercising flexibility is crucial for marijuana edible manufacturers and with medicinal marijuana becoming legal in more states, they could face contrasting regulations state to state.
Most manufacturers are working to anticipate changes to marijuana edible shapes, color, packaging, and labeling to avoid the stigma of trying to appeal to minors. No company wants to be perceived deliberately targeting underage youth and many manufacturers have already adapted their edibles to avoid such a perception.
There is still room to produce edibles that are still unique to a brand while still abiding the current regulations. If anything, marijuana edible companies will need to evolve their products and get more creative with packaging and edible shapes.