After Nevada voted to legalize recreational cannabis in November 2016, state lawmakers wasted no time craftingregulations to get the retail market up and running by July 1. Although a recent lawsuit filed by local alcohol distributors threatened to delay the licensing process, state officials managed to overcome this obstacle, allowing a select number of dispensaries to start recreational sales this weekend.    

However, with recreational sales beginning tomorrow, policymakers are taking some extreme measures to ensure that everything runs smoothly. On Monday, Gov. Brian Sandoval backed a statement of emergency that will allow the Department of Taxation to increase restrictions on marijuana edible products. These new regulations will go into effect on July 1, the same day that retail cannabis will become available across the state.

The sudden law change will force dispensaries to get rid of certain edible products that fail to meet these last-minute constraints. For starters, the statement of emergency will outlaw cannabis shops from selling any products that either contain more than 10 milligrams of THC per dose or more than 100 milligrams in the entire package.

The regulations will also forbid certain packaging that might make edibles more appealing to children. For instance, any product that appears to resemble lollipops, ice cream, or any other food product that has been marketed to children will be illegal. Additionally, labels that have images depicting cartoon characters, action figures, toys, balloons or mascots will also be barred from sale. Edibles that fail to meet these guidelines must obscure these images with by a sticker, label, or permanent marker.

This issue was first raised in the form of Senate Bill 344, a measure that would make edibles containing sugar illegal unless they were considered baked goods. The statement of emergency also places other restrictions on THC-infused candy or snack foods, while cookie and brownie products are required to be sealed in an opaque bag. Lastly, packaging will need to include the warning "THIS IS A MARIJUANA PRODUCT" in bold type, a "Keep out of reach of children" warning, as well as a list of all ingredients.

In order to uphold these regulations, the Department of Taxation is putting together a team of four compliance officers and four inspectors. State lawmakers are determined to keep cannabis edibles from appealing to underage children, and while these sudden restrictions will likely cause dispensaries to scurry around and check their edible products, it’s a step that regulators feel will ease the concerns of parents in the Silver State.