Methods: The author conducted primary legal research through Boolean searches in the LexisNexis legal database to identify relevant state-level statutes and regulations that govern edible labeling, packaging and advertising restrictions. LexisNexis is one of the two premier databases that publishes state laws, and is therefore one of the most reliable sources of state law information. Since this is a rapidly developing area of law, only laws currently in effect were collected.
Results: Edible product labeling and packaging restrictions help prevent the accidental consumption of these products by children and unsuspecting adults. Moreover, edible product labeling helps to prevent overconsumption by providing information about the product’s ingredients, potency and recommended consumption to intentional consumers. Some states require edible product labels to list the number of servings in the package, the amount of THC contained per serving, potential allergens, the date it was manufactured and will expire, and storage instructions if the product needs to be refrigerated. Most states’ product labels now warn against consuming this product and subsequently driving. Universal symbols are now required to be affixed to every edible product label in many states, which visually conveys that the product is not a regular food item. A majority of states require the edible product to be child-resistant upon initial and subsequent openings, tamper-resistant, tamper-evident or opaque. Packaging that utilizes bright colors or shapes that may appeal to children are not allowed in many states. Several states prohibit advertising content that is false or misleading, including medical claims, require that the state first approve the content of retail dispensary’s advertisements, and place limitations on advertising in certain media programming that is designed for a youth audience. Some states have utilized advertising as part of a public awareness campaign to help prevent drugged driving.
Conclusions: Comprehensive state laws that regulate edible product labeling, packaging and advertising can help prevent accidental consumption and overconsumption, and reduce the appeal of these products to youth who may be otherwise drawn to these products.