Regulating Cannabis Edibles Presents Challenge for Lawmakers

Now that California is implementing rules for both the medical marijuana and newly legal adult-use markets, regulators and industry professionals are confronting the unique challenges presented by the growing edibles market. Adapting to those rules will mean big changes for California’s entrenched edibles makers, who sold around $79 million worth of products in 2016, according to a study by the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research. The Humboldt institute predicts all California cannabis manufacturers will have to spend an extra $39 million each year to comply with the coming regulations.

One of the biggest challenges with edibles is the tendency for consumers – particularly inexperienced ones – to overindulge and end up miserable. That’s because edibles take more time to kick in, last hours longer and can produce a more intense high than smoking. The draft of medical marijuana regulations recently released by the California Department of Public Health calls for a THC limit of 10 milligrams per serving of any edible, using the level that’s become the standard serving size. The rules also would limit an entire package of edibles to no more than 100 milligrams. Stakeholders have until June 12, 2017 to offer feedback on the proposed regulations.

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