Commercially produced edibles, which make up 45 percent of Colorado's cannabis market, were developed for medical marijuana users who wanted the effects of pot, like easing pain or nausea, without having to smoke it. But problems quickly arose when pot became legal for recreational use and some overdosed on the product -- accidents blamed on improper labeling. Now, new rules requiring warnings about the effects of edible marijuana are in place in Colorado, reports CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen.
Denver Relief manager Jeff Botkins makes sure to explain the changes in edible packaging for recreational marijuana buyers. Packages must now contain products with individual doses of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and must be child proof.
Manufactures scrambled to change products like candy bars. Each square now shows the legally allowed maximum dose of 10 milligrams.
"This is a positive step forward," Denver Relief co-owner Ean Seeb said.
He said it could help prevent incidents of kids overdosing on edibles that look like candy.
"Putting (them) into child resistant containers (is) one measure we can take as an industry to try to prevent that from happening," Seeb said.
Mints now come in child-proof bubble packages and cookies and candies that once contained several doses and were indistinguishable from non-marijuana infused treats will now be a single dose and properly sealed.
Packaging like that might have saved the life of Wyoming college student Levy Thamba, who ate a whole marijuana infused cookie at once while visiting Colorado. He overdosed and jumped to his death from a hotel balcony.
People in the marijuana industry worked with state regulators and law enforcement officials to write the new laws. They see them as fixing one of the growing pains from making recreational marijuana legal in Colorado and in three other states.
"This only serves to show that this industry is a viable industry, it's working toward creating logical, sensible regulations so we can be treated like any other industry," Seeb said.
The labels also warn that edibles take effect slowly. Smoking pot can give you an instant high, but it can take up to two hours for edibles to work, so users are warned to be patient.