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New York Marijuana Regulators Approve Rules On Packaging, Advertising For Adult-Use Sales


New York marijuana regulators on Wednesday took another step toward setting up the state for the launch of its adult-use retail market, approving a series of proposed rules for packaging, labeling, advertising and testing requirements.

They also approved 16 additional adult-use cannabis cultivator applications to help ensure the market has enough product when recreational sales launch by the end of this year, raising the total to 162.

For example, under one approved measure, only one brand name could be featured on a cannabis item, with no pictures or graphics, except for what regulators are requiring to be included—such as a new universal symbol that will be used to designate legal marijuana products.

Packages also specifically can’t be made to appeal to underage consumers and must be child-resistant and tamper-evident.

Labels must contain details about the cannabinoid content and concentration, the serving size for edible products, the weight of the item and a lot number.

With regard to sustainable practices, licensees must “submit an environmental sustainability program for cannabis product packaging as part of the application process,” the rules say, and the packages couldn’t be made of single-use plastic, unless at least 25 percent is made from post-consumer recycled content.

Licensees could also include in their applications proposed plans to sanitize marijuana packaging for reuse.

Consistent with existing regulations for other non-cannabis food items, the packages must be labeled in such a way as to identify “any major allergens” the products contain. Marijuana edibles and beverages need to have a nutritional label, as well.

If solvents are used to produce the product, that also must be noted on the label, as does the expiration date and use-by date and usage instructions.

The proposed rules also call for a scannable bar code or QR code to be included on marijuana products so that people can view the certification of analysis.

Additionally, marijuana items must contain this language: “KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND PETS. For use only by persons 21 years and older,” and include a warning that pregnant women and those who are nursing should not use cannabis. Smokable or vapable products need to include their own warnings about the health risks of inhaling, and edible products will need to include a caution that the onset of effects could take up to four hours.
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