LEGISLATION TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM EXPOSURE TO MARIJUANA PRODUCTS PASSES POLICY COMMITTEE
SACRAMENTO – Today, the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions approved two bills, authored by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), that are designed to protect children from exposure to marijuana products. AB 175 would establish a packaging and labeling approval process for all edible marijuana products, prior to them being sold in retail stores. AB 76 would prohibit the operator of an Internet Web site or online service, online application, or mobile application from marketing marijuana products or services to a minor, or to a person under the age of twenty-one, in certain circumstances.
“The implementation date that is going to allow for the release of marijuana products into the market is fast approaching and we need to be ready, as a state, to protect children from the marketing of marijuana products,” said Assemblymember Chau. “These bills would ensure that edible marijuana products are in child resistant packaging, and made in a way that is not attractive to children, while also ensuring that online websites and applications that are directed to minors cannot market marijuana products or marijuana businesses.”
In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states in the nation to fully legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Since then, one of the main issues that both states have faced is accidental ingestion and child exposure to marijuana-infused edible products. For example, Colorado experienced a spike in emergency room visits by children who had consumed marijuana products, and one instance of an underage individual dying after ingesting marijuana. In an attempt to curb the potential for unsafe packaging and marketing of edible marijuana products to children, Washington requires the State Liquor and Cannabis Board to approve the labeling and packaging for all marijuana infused products, prior to marijuana manufacturers offering these items for sale in retail stores.
Additionally, The Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World, which became effective January 1, 2014, prohibits operators of Internet Web sites, online services, online applications, and mobile applications that are directed to minors from marketing certain types of products or services, such as tobacco and alcohol that minors cannot legally purchase. While the law prohibited drug paraphernalia from being advertised to minors, it did not specifically prohibit the advertising of marijuana, because at the time recreational use of marijuana was not legal in California.
“I want California to learn from the experiences of other states. So, these bills are designed to protect children, as we implement the use of recreational marijuana in a safe and responsible manner.”
Assemblymember Ed Chau represents the 49th Assembly District, comprised of the communities of Alhambra, Arcadia, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Temple City and portions of Montebello, and South El Monte.