Steamboat Springs In a constantly evolving industry, local marijuana dispensaries are implementing new rules that were signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday.
While recreational sales of pot were bustling at Rocky Mountain Remedies on Tuesday, employees on the other side of a wall selling cannabis for medicinal purposes were making small changes.
The new law requires edible marijuana products sold for medicinal purposes to now be packaged the same way recreational edible products are packaged. That means the products need to be taken out of shops such as RMR in resealable, childproof packaging that conceals the contents of the package.
Hickenlooper said the change was important to keep marijuana out of the hands of kids.
"Marijuana should not be easily accessible or attractive to kids," Hickenlooper said at the bill signing.
Kevin Fisher, co-owner of RMR, said the change helps streamline the way edible marijuana products are sold for medicinal and recreational purposes, but it does increase RMR's costs.
"It's something we're not going to pass along to the patient," Fisher said.
Fisher recognized the intent of the law to keep marijuana out of the hands of children, but packaging alone will not do that. Inevitably, some people will take the edible home and leave it out of the childproof packaging, Fisher said. Fisher compared it to household cleaning products that, while sold in childproof containers, oftentimes are transferred to containers that are not childproof.
It is not only children who are at risk of eating an edible product such as a brownie or candy that is accessible or not in a discreet and childproof container. Just last week, an 18-year-old housekeeper in Steamboat ate a candy bar he found while cleaning a unit. He reportedly did not know it was made with marijuana, and he unintentionally got very high. His co-workers called an ambulance, and he was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center to be treated for what police called an "overdose."
Fisher and Golden Leaf dispensary co-owner Golden Leaf Anderson have said edible products continue to be a popular choice among those vacationing in Steamboat. The demand has been surprising to both of them as well as dispensary owners throughout Colorado. Golden Leaf and RMR each buy their edible products from other companies and then resell them. The companies making the edibles have been inundated with demand.
Fisher said RMR has no plans to get into the business of making edibles. He said it requires having a commercial kitchen, and there are established companies that make good products.
"We'll let them have that," Fisher said.
While the companies that make the edible products are trying to keep up with high demand, the Steamboat dispensary owners said it also has been difficult to get the necessary childproof packaging.
Fisher said that has led to them not being able to sell the infused sodas for recreational use because the bottles are too big to fit in the available packaging. Employees at RMR on Tuesday said they now have the packaging to sell the sodas for recreational use.
Anderson said they were scheduled to receive additional childproof packaging Tuesday.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland
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