Marijuana

Kids, don’t eat these munchies: New labels required on marijuana edibles starting Tuesday

Edible marijuana products are pictured on display at a medical marijuana dispensary in Denver on Friday, April 18, 2014.
Edible marijuana products are pictured on display at a medical marijuana dispensary in Denver on Friday, April 18, 2014. AP

Going forward, all edible pot products sold through Washington state’s legal marijuana system will bear a label telling consumers they are “not for kids.”

The warning label is required on marijuana-infused foods and beverages starting Tuesday.

The label bears a red hand and a written warning, along with a number for the Washington Poison Center that people can call if they are worry they or a child might have overdosed.

State-licensed marijuana processors are required to either incorporate the warning label into the packaging for marijuana edibles or put a sticker with the warning label on the products.

Brian Smith, spokesman for the state Liquor and Cannabis Board, said his agency decided to require the warning labels to help distinguish marijuana-infused candies, chocolates and soft drinks from typical sweets.

“A lot of them look like a regular package. We want it to be easily identified as a product containing marijuana,” Smith said.

If edibles come with a special label, Smith said, it’s easier for parents to teach children the products are off-limits. Under Washington state’s legal marijuana law, only adults 21 and older can consume the drug recreationally.

The labels also are designed to help remind adults to keep marijuana edibles out of the reach of children, said Arti Patel, a health education and outreach specialist at the Washington Poison Center.

“It could cause a fatal overdose for children,” Patel said.

The emergency phone number on the warning label — 800-222-1222 — can provide free expert advice in case of a suspected overdose, Patel said.

All calls to the line are confidential, she said.

Melissa Santos: 360-357-0209, @melissasantos1

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