No Cartoons or Neon Colors: New York Regulators Approve Restrictions on Recreational Cannabis Packaging and Ads

In the underground industry, cannabis products are often marketed with playful names, bright colors and allusions to popular snacks. But the regulated cannabis products that will soon grace New York store shelves and their advertisements will likely look much more understated.

The Cannabis Control Board of New York voted on Wednesday to approve proposed settlement that would prohibit cannabis packaging and advertisements from including cartoon characters, neon colors, bubble letters, candy references or other features likely to appeal to those under 21, the legal age to consume cannabis in New York. Images of celebrities or other people who appear to be under 21 would also be prohibited.

Misleading claims about health benefits and any indication that a product is “safe” or “organic” would also be prohibited. The draft regulations will now be subject to a 60-day public comment period, starting June 15, before being finalized.

The Council voted on the packing rules on Wednesday without much discussion.

“I think you’ve looked at other people’s mistakes and the good work they’ve done,” Reuben McDaniel, also president and CEO of the New York State Dormitory Authority, told colleagues. the vote.

The regulations include a wide range of measures to keep cannabis away from children, who have had more exposure to edibles that the legalization of cannabis has spread across the country. The rules would require products to be delivered in child-resistant packaging that would be difficult for children under five to open, and advertisements would have to be placed at least 500 feet from schools, libraries, grounds playgrounds or daycares.

Nods to old-school cannabis culture will also be out of the question in advertising, even if the references are aimed at adults. For example, advertisements will not be permitted to use terms such as “stoner”, “chronic”, “sticky bud” or “weed”. And they cannot feature any actual images of cannabis or people smoking or vaping.

Ads should also include rotating warnings about the risks of consuming weed, such as “Cannabis may impair concentration, coordination and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of cannabis.”

When it comes to labeling, regulators want products to have a special symbol indicating that a product contains THC; is for people over 21; and comes from New York. Labels should also include information on the total amount of THC and CBD in each product, as well as the amount in each serving.

Cannabis state officials said they expect the first licensed dispensaries to open in New York City by the end of the year. For now, they are working to increase the supply of cannabis to fuel the legal industry.

The Cannabis Control Board also voted on Wednesday to approve 16 additional farms to grow marijuana, for a total of 162 licensed growers statewide so far.

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