City audits Aspen’s cannabis dispensers
December 14, 2015
Aspen's six recreational marijuana shops can each expect a visit from city officials today.
Starting at 10 a.m., Aspen's city clerk, assistant city attorney and Police Department will conduct a compliance check to ensure dispensers are following new state regulations for edible products.
Among the restrictions, which went into effect Feb. 1, is the requirement that recreational edibles be sold in increments of 10 or fewer milligrams of activated THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Officials also will review compliance on new child-proof packaging and labeling requirements, according to City Clerk Linda Manning.
During Colorado's first year of recreational sales, a number of issues were linked to edible marijuana consumption. In April, a 19-year-old Wyoming college student jumped to his death after eating a marijuana cookie his friend legally purchased in Denver. In May, the Denver Post reported a surge in the number of children appearing at the Children's Hospital Colorado emergency department for accidental marijuana consumption.
Before implementation of the new regulations, recreational consumers were able to purchase individual edibles activated with as much as 100 and 200 milligrams of THC. These products included recommendations for breaking up dosages, but as Stash co-owner Garrett Patrick put it, that wasn't an exact science.
"If you wanted 25 milligrams off that 100-milligram edible, you had to guess and cut a quarter off that cookie or chocolate bar," he said. "And sometimes, maybe the THC was infused a little bit more on one side of (the edible)."
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This led to overconsumption and unhealthy mixing with alcohol, he added.
"People go out, have a couple drinks, a couple edibles, and it becomes a little too much sometimes, so I think (the changes) are going to help," he said.
Though Leaf Aspen co-owner Jesse Miller was hoping the state would cap the milligram dosage at 25, he said that overall, the restrictions are a good move.
"It's going to avoid people having a bad time," Miller said. "All in all, I think it was a good maneuver."
Both shop owners noted that they had liquidation sales at the end of January to get rid of noncompliant products. Patrick said all but one of his vendors, Dixie Elixirs, was willing to replace and restock the products. Miller had to sell all of his nonconforming products at cost, though he said the impact was felt more at his manufacturer's kitchen.
"It didn't really impact our store other than having to liquidate what we had that was noncompliant," Miller said.
Leaf produces its own edibles in its manufacturer's kitchen with a marijuana-infused products license. All of that production was put on hold until the changes took effect, and Miller is currently acquiring new packaging to reflect the changes.
During the compliance check, Manning will be accompanied by Assistant City Attorney Debbie Quinn, Police Chief Richard Pryor, officer Rick Magnuson, officer Jeff Fain and Environmental Health Specialist Rachel Burmeister.
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