A bill to tighten laws governing the sale of marijuana-infused edibles in Colorado was unanimously passed by the state House of Representatives on Tuesday after two deaths possibly linked to the ingestion of cannabis products shed light on the lack of guidelines for edibles, according to Reuters.
Colorado lawmakers are aiming to limit the amount of concentrated marijuana that can be sold through a bill requiring more specific labeling of pot-laced products, such as candies and baked goods, as well as restricting the amount of the THC chemical in edibles, Reuters reported.
Republican Representative Frank McNulty from Denver said the measures are needed to protect the public and assure that edibles are not mistakenly consumed by children, according to Reuters. He also cited the two recent deaths in Denver that have possible connections to edible marijuana.
Levi Thamba Pongi was a student from the Republic of Congo who attended college in Wyoming. He leaped to his death from a hotel balcony after ingesting six times the suggested amount of marijuana cookies, Reuters reported.
The other incident involves Richard Kirk, 47, who is accused of shooting his wife to death as she was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, saying that her husband had used marijuana, was hallucinating and was frightening her and the couple's three children, according to Reuters. A search warrant said Kirk had recently purchased a joint and pot-infused candy from a marijuana shop and noted Kirk may have been under the influence of prescription painkillers.
"The packages of edibles are labeled that they contain marijuana, but once they're out of the package, they're indistinguishable from a brownie or lollipop bought at a grocery store," McNulty said, Reuters reported.
The bills will move to the state Senate where it has bipartisan support, according to Reuters. Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper has not indicated if he will sign the measures into law should they reach his desk.
Voters in Colorado legalized the possession and use of cannabis by adults in 2012, and the first retail pot shops opened in the state this January, Reuters reported.