Consumer use and understanding of labelling information on edible marijuana products sold for recreational use in the states of Colorado and Washington
Background: In 2014, the states of Colorado and Washington began allowing retail sales of marijuana for recreational use. The regulatory agencies in these states have implemented specific labelling requirements for edible marijuana products sold for recreational use to help address concerns such as delayed activation time, accidental ingestion, and proper dosing.
Methods: We conducted 12 focus groups with 94 adult consumers and nonconsumers of edibles in Denver and Seattle to collect information on their use and understanding of labelling information on edible marijuana products sold for recreational use. Specifically, we asked participants about the usefulness, attractiveness, ease of comprehension, relevancy, and acceptability of the label information.
Results: Some focus group participants look for and read specific information, such as the potency profile and serving size statement, but do not read or were unfamiliar with other labelling features. The focus groups revealed that participants have some concerns about the current labelling of edibles. In particular, participants were concerned that there is too much information on the labels so consumers may not read the label, there is no obvious indication that the product contains marijuana (e.g., a Universal Symbol), and the information on consumption advice is not clear. Participants in both locations suggested that education in a variety of formats, such as web- and video-based education, would be useful in informing consumers about the possible risks of edibles.
Conclusion: The focus group findings suggest that improvements are needed in the labelling of edibles to prevent unintentional ingestion among adult nonusers and help ensure proper dosing and safe consumption among adult users. These findings, along with lessons learned from Colorado and Washington, can help inform the labelling of edibles as additional states allow the sale of edibles for recreational use. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.