DENVER — Colorado's marijuana experiment is being threatened by the popularity of eating it instead of smoking it, leading the pot industry to join health officials and state regulators in trying to curb the problem of consumers' ingesting too much weed.
A task force gathered Wednesday to start brainstorming ways to educate consumers, including a standard warning system on popular edibles, which is the industry term for marijuana that has been concentrated and infused into food or drink.
One idea is to fashion labels on edible pot similar to the difficulty guidelines on ski slopes, a system familiar to Colorado residents. Weak marijuana products would have green dots, grading up to black diamonds for the most potent edibles.
Marijuana-infused foods are booming in the state's new recreational market. Some choose edible pot because of health concerns about smoking the drug. Whether through inexperience or confusion, many are eating too much pot too quickly, with potentially deadly consequences.
A college student from Wyoming jumped to his death from a Denver hotel balcony last month after consuming six times the recommended dosage of a marijuana-infused cookie. And earlier this month, a Denver man accused of shooting his wife reportedly ate pot-laced candy before the attack, though police say he may have had other drugs in his system.
The deaths have underscored a common complaint from new marijuana customers: They say they don't know how much pot to eat and then have bad experiences when they ingest too much.
Colorado already limits THC — marijuana's intoxicating chemical — in edible pot products to 10 mg per serving, with a maximum of 10 servings per package.