Does Cannabis Go Bad? – Colorado Approves Use-by Dates for Marijuana Products?
The state of Colorado has recently taken some significant steps that could signal a new regime for the cannabis industry. Colorado has always been a leading state when it comes to cannabis, and it looks like that trend will continue in 2023. The state is expected to introduce a new regulatory framework for the cannabis industry that will include the ability to repurpose medicinal cannabis for use by adults. use cannabis. Read on as we examine the essence of these new sets of rules and how they will impact the cannabis industry at large.
Several new sets of regulations were recently approved by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) for the state’s cannabis industry. The new rulebooks went into effect on December 1, but some will not be fully implemented until 2023 and 2024. Two of the new rules have certainly caught the attention of most in the cannabis industry since they were approved. The first is the rule allowing for the possibility of repurposing medicinal cannabis for adult use, which is scheduled to begin in 2023. The other is the rule requiring use-by dates and storage conditions for cannabis products, which is scheduled to be implemented by 2020 by 2024.
These new sets of rules are mostly by-products of the state’s enacted legislation. The acceptance follows a grueling series of engagements the department has had with various stakeholders. The department operates outside of the state Treasury Department and has been entrusted with such responsibilities over time. MED has always faced a variety of important issues related to the state’s cannabis industry, and this year was no different. The department’s rulemaking process depends on established laws within the state, but the department continues to engage with stakeholders before enacting its rules.
Dominique Mendiola, Senior Director at MED, spoke in a press release about the importance of collaboration between MED and industry stakeholders. He explains that this collaboration makes the rulemaking process effective for the benefit of the industry. According to him, the department’s engagements give it a chance to garner meaningful input from its team and members of the public. Mendiola says these engagements are critical to the department’s steps in updating existing rules and processes, and as such the department doesn’t take them for granted.
The new rule that is on everyone’s lips among the new MED regulations is the redesignation rule. The rule is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2023 and will allow medical cannabis facilities to transfer medical cannabis to adult cannabis cultivation facilities. The facility may also transfer cannabis to an accelerator cultivator so that the labeling of the product can be changed to reflect its intended use. The rule is a product of Senate Law 22-178, which states that a grow facility for adult use is important for payment of excise tax on transferred cannabis.
The rule is also linked to legislation from 2021, which states that a licensee can change the designation of cannabis for adult use to medical cannabis. This conversion will only apply in special circumstances as set out in the legislation and cannabis companies will benefit from it from January 2023.
The state of Colorado, following the MED rule, will also allow all cannabis products in the state to be labeled based on storage conditions and expiration dates. This will come into effect in January 2024 and must be met before cannabis can be sold to a patient or adult aged 21 or over. The new rules mean additional responsibilities will be imposed on licensees. They need to determine the shelf life of their products to set the correct expiration date. In a situation where a licensee chooses not to test, a default expiration date of 9 months applies.
In a press release, MED explained the standard procedure to be followed in relation to products with an expiry date. In cases where the expiration date has passed and the regulated marijuana store wants to sell the products to the consumer, they are allowed. This applies if the licensee informs the consumer or patient of the expiry date on the product. The new regulation applies to products intended for inhalation, such as flowers and pre-rolls. Consumption labeling is already standard for edibles and other consumable cannabis products.
There have been other significant rule changes based on various bills in the House of Representatives that are scheduled to go into effect by December 1, 2022. One is the requirement that marijuana responsible sellers agree with both individuals and businesses wishing to retain the designation. The designation changes for an employee if the employee moves to another company. House Bill 22-1135 also resulted in marijuana transportation licensees being able to transfer the license to new or additional owners. Also, the time it takes licensees to find suitable social equity programs has been extended from one year to two years.
In addition, existing regulations to increase occupational safety for certain manufacturing processes have been changed. This includes the use of gloves, goggles and respirators for some workers. There is also a need to strengthen internal security controls, which will help curb the rise in attempted break-ins into licensed cannabis businesses. Licensees are required to provide enhanced security controls and are supported with a security plan to prepare for and mitigate intrusions.
Interesting days are certainly ahead for the cannabis industry in the state of Colorado. The new rulesets have been designed to help both the licensee and the customer get the most out of the system. With the rules set to come into force in 2023, only time will tell how effective they will be broadly.
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