The MRA, (Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency), recently released a bulletin specifying guidelines for cannabis edibles and their packaging. The bulletin was released in order to provide examples and further explanation of the state regulations surrounding edibles. Here’s a quick breakdown of what that means for producers, dispensaries, and cannabis consumers across Michigan.
The main points the bulletin covers are:
- Edibles should not be packaged in any way that would appeal to minors. This means anything with cartoons, toys, caricatures, labels, or other imagery or text that would specifically appeal to people under the age of 18 are not allowed.
- Edibles should not be easily confused with commercially sold candy and cannot use the word “candy” on their packaging. You may have seen cannabis infused products with labels mimicking well-known brands such as Sour Patch Kids, Starburst, or Skittles. These are not only almost certainly a trademark violation, but also illegal to sell in the state of Michigan.
- Edibles should not be shaped like people, animals, fruit, or any other cartoon sort of shape. They can be geometric shapes in fruity flavors, but are not allowed to resemble gummy bears, gummy worms, or fruits. Basically, anything that a child could confuse for fruit snacks or Flintstones Vitamins is a no-go.
- Edibles should be packaged in opaque, child-resistant packaging. Edibles with more than one serving per package must be resealable. If anything comes in a clear bag or is not child-resistant, it runs the risk of appealing to minors.
- Edibles should not use words commonly found on commercial candy packaging, such as “milk chocolate,” “peanut butter,” “gummies,” “nougat,” or “chews” without modifying the name to clearly and explicitly mention THC or cannabis.
The gist of the bulletin is that all cannabis edible product packaging should avoid appealing to, or being accessible to, children and minors. Brands that produce products which violate the new bulletin must fully repackage their products as soon as possible in order to meet all MRA guidelines. Alternatively, existing packaging can be updated with stickers or paper labels that clearly indicate the product contains marijuana, THC, or cannabis in a large font that is obvious at a glance. As a last resort, the MRA permits producers to voluntarily destroy any non-compliant products.
Additionally, as of last month, the MRA Enforcement Division’s Field Operations team has begun conducting investigations where necessary to ensure all brands that produce cannabis infused edibles are in compliance with state regulations.
What does this mean for consumers? Don’t worry, it shouldn’t affect you too much. If you regularly purchase cannabis-infused edibles, make sure to keep an eye out in case the packaging on your favorite products has changed or been updated. There may be some temporary shortages as brands adapt to these guidelines and make packaging changes, but most of your go-to products should be available again soon. If you are looking for something specific, be sure to swing by any Timber location and chat with our friendly budtenders for the latest information on all of your favorite edibles.
At Timber, we are all for safety and do everything we can to be in compliance with MRA codes and guidelines. We love weed, but only for adults! Do you have questions about the bulletin or about the MRA and its role in our industry? Feel free to contact us with questions, or check in with your local budtender at our Allegan, Muskegon, or brand new Big Rapids and Sturgis locations.