Marijuana potency, labels debated by Colo. regulators

DENVER – Marijuana regulators in Colorado decided Monday that the drug’s potency can’t be capped – but pot should be clearly labeled so consumers know its strength.

A task force set up to propose marijuana regulations to the state Legislature had debated a suggestion to limit the potency of recreational marijuana by capping the amount of THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient.

Marijuana potency limits were dismissed as unworkable by the task force, which settled instead on labeling requirements.

Commercial pot sales in Colorado could begin by next year after state voters decided to flout federal drug law and permit adults to have small amounts of it.

The state Legislature ultimately will decide whether to try potency limits. The recommendations adopted Monday included requirements to sell pot in opaque, childproof packages and to state potency levels.

The same task force voted last week against a residency requirement for adults older than 21 buying marijuana. If adopted, that recommendation would open the door for marijuana tourism.

Much of the debate Monday centered on edible marijuana. Task force members couldn’t agree whether edible pot should be divided into “servings,” or whether pot should be limited in foods.

Marijuana activist Christian Sederberg argued for clear labels on pot foods to prevent accidental overdoses.

Adults, he said, are “relatively experienced in eating candy bars, but not eating candy bars with marijuana in them.”

Marijuana critics said the labeling suggestion didn’t go far enough. A suggested serving size of 10 milligrams of THC per serving of edible pot was criticized by Christian Thurstone, a drug-treatment specialist and prominent marijuana critic on the task force.

“You could presumably walk out with 2,800 brownies,” Sederberg said.