Whether growing for a patient or a dispensary, growers should make sure they are aware of and comply with any state laws and regulations for the proper labeling of the product.
The industry, which is still in its infancy as far as laws are concerned, will continue to see more states enact or increase regulations for the purposes of safety. California and Colorado recently passed stricter regulations concerning the labeling of edibles. The development of regulations will likely extend to other cannabis products as well, so it is important to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing requirements.
Complying with labeling requirements guarantees only that a grower will not have an issue with state governing bodies for noncompliance. If a customer purchases a product that is mislabeled or does not have the proper warnings, there is the possibility of exposure to a product liability claim if there are injuries or damages. Although there is no outright regulatory compliance defense—meaning that compliance with state regulations will not release someone from all liability—it can be immensely helpful as a defense.
However, some states, such as Montana and Michigan, currently have zero regulations on labeling, but that won’t be for long. It is only a matter of time before states use their regulating authority to enact quality control and ensure patients and consumers receive the product intended.
What can growers do to protect themselves against potential legal issues if their state currently does not have labeling requirements? Whether they label the product themselves or need to pass along the information to the dispensary, every grower should be prepared to provide at a minimum the following information:
Additional Resources: The following are state-specific laws and regulations concerning labeling, although these are always subject to change:
Delaware: http://regulations.delaware.gov/AdminCode/title16/Department%20of%20Health%20and%20Social%20Services/Division%20of%20Public%20Health/Health%20Systems%20Protection%20(HSP)/4470.shtml section 7.2.8 and 7.3.10
Michigan: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-72600_72603_51869-358173–,00.html Michigan does not have current legislation on required information on labels.
Montana: http://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca_toc/50_46_3.htm. Montana does not have current legislation on required information on labels.
New Hampshire: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/state_agencies/he-c400.html He-C 402.19
New Mexico:http://188.8.131.52/nmac/parts/title07/07.034.0004.htm Section 184.108.40.206
New York: http://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/docs/regulations.pdf Section 1004.11(k) which requires prior approval of labels by Department of Health
Rhode Island: http://sos.ri.gov/documents/archives/regdocs/released/pdf/DOH/7659.pdf Section 5.1.8(j)
Vermont: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/fullchapter/18/086 Section 4474e(h)
Washington: http://app.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=314-55-105 Section 314-55-120
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