By Garrett Rudolph
Opponents of marijuana legalization may be looking for any opportunity they can find to shift the growing public support of ending prohibition. Meanwhile, cannabis industry leaders are urging responsible practices during this time of great scrutiny.
“As an industry, we cannot afford to make any mistakes,” Kush Bottles CEO Ben Wu said. “It will take just one incidence of child ingestion of marijuana, or one dispensary selling items in uncertified or non-child resistant containers leading to a preventable accident, to turn public opinion against our industry At the very least, a misstep at this juncture could derail other states’ efforts at legalization.”
Alaska could be the next state to legalize, with an initiative set for the November election. Oregon could be in the same position as supporters continue to push for an initiative for the November ballot.
Kevin A. Sabet, executive director of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, is spearheading much of the effort to overturn legalization.
“We feel that if Oregon or Alaska could be stopped, it would disrupt the whole narrative these groups have that legalization is inevitable,” Sabet said in a New York Times story in February. “We could stop that momentum.”
Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Mason Tvert, a leading advocate for ending prohibition of marijuana, said it is important to keep the momentum of legalization moving forward. But, he adds, it won’t be easy.
“This is going to be a multiyear effort,” Tvert told the New York Times.
Kush Bottles has been an outspoken advocate for responsible practices, including industry standards, child safety, compliance and adherence to regulations.
“We are lucky to be part of a dynamic, vibrant and fun industry, but we have to remember this is still serious business,” Wu said. “We owe it to our clients and ourselves to protect the integrity and future of legalized marijuana.”
And as all eyes are on Colorado and its burgeoning marijuana program, a recent change in the law now requires edible marijuana products for medical patients to meet the same packaging standards as the legal recreational industry.
Wu said his company, which provides approved child-resistant packaging for cannabis products, agrees with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper that marijuana should not be easily accessible or attractive to children.
“This change in the law will help improve child safety, and will protect the marijuana industry from the fallout that could occur with a child’s accidental ingestion,” Wu said.