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Colorado Criminal Defense Blog

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Colorado has been ahead of the curve when it comes to marijuana laws. They’re learning as they go what works and what doesn’t – including the shapes of edibles available in the state.

Some new laws have recently taken effect in Colorado. And they will have a marked impact on the packaging and the molds used in making edibles. Here’s what you need to know about these changes and the rules surrounding edibles in Colorado.

Marijuana Laws in Colorado

Comprehensive laws have been passed in Colorado that regulate the consumption of marijuana. These laws include things such as:

  • You must be 18 to purchase marijuana products
  • You must be 18 to enter a marijuana dispensary
  • You must have a medical marijuana prescription if you are between the ages of 18 and 21
  • You cannot buy more than one ounce of cannabis flower
  • Concentrated cannabis can only be bought 800 milligrams at one time

There are many marijuana products that can be purchased in Colorado, from vapes to flower to edibles. And it’s the edibles that have seen some changes with recent legislation.

What Is the Difference Between Edibles and Smoking Marijuana?

Edibles are popular in Colorado because they are different than smoking the plant. Some of the most basic differences include:


Smoking marijuana causes effects that last up to three hours. Edibles produce effects that last a much longer amount of time – nearly double. While it depends on the dosage, the effects of edibles can last up to eight hours.

Initiation Time

When you smoke marijuana, its effects are almost immediate. Edibles take longer to produce effects because they must be absorbed in the digestive system. The full effects will not be felt for between 30 minutes and two hours.


Edibles can produce a much more intense effect than smoking marijuana. That makes it easier to dose incorrectly, which has to lead to widespread issues with overdosing with edibles.

Changes to Edibles

Edibles are a popular product in Colorado. They used to be available in all shapes and sizes, but it’s been determined that labeling them as candy or making them look like candy may be dangerous to children, so the laws were changed in order to make things safer.

Certain Shapes Banned

Edibles can no longer be shaped like humans, cartoons, fruits, or animals. Yes, the traditional gummy bear can no longer be produced as a marijuana edible in Colorado. The shape isn’t all that changed with respect to edibles.

Product Consistency Regulations

There have been some concerns about the overconsumption of edibles as well as consistency concerns and accidental ingestion. Consistency has been a large issue since testing found that there were widely varying amounts of THC in different products or that the products didn’t match the labeling on the package.

Regulators in the state reacted by implementing new measures. These include:

  • Child-proof packaging
  • More robust testing of products
  • Dosing restrictions of no more than 10 milligrams per serving of THC
  • Education campaigns about the side effects of edibles
  • A universal THC symbol stamped on every serving
  • No more use of the word candy in describing edibles
  • Contamination and potency testing information

Denver Marijuana Defense Lawyer

State lawmakers no longer want edibles to resemble candy for kids and also include the images of any candy-like edibles to be removed from packaging to help keep kids, and adults, safe.

Edibles are still a valuable resource for many in Colorado and that hasn’t changed. They may just a little different than what you were used to seeing.

About the Author:

Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012 & 2019” and a “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012-2020 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state.  Additionally, Expertise names her to its lists of the 25 Best Denver DUI Lawyers and 21 Best Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers, both in 2020. Ms. Diego has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.

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