With the litany of edible options available, it can be a bit overwhelming for someone who has limited experience with cannabis. Advances in technology have made it possible for edibles to exist without a distinct odor or flavor that gives away an enhanced element. While the artistic opportunities are all very exciting, they can present problems for those who are looking to avoid a psychoactive experience.
For a long time, edibles were something experimented with behind closed doors, but the industry has seriously expanded over the last decade. In states where it is recreationally legal, any food or drink item conceivable has an infused version: coffee, olive oil, soda, candy, condiments, and more can be found with THC and CBD. Depending on the state’s legislation, however, the restrictions and rules applying to labeling can prove very difficult for an edible producer.
While critics argue that making edibles fun or attractive in any way makes them susceptible to underage use, other entrepreneurs feel that such stringent rules keep them from expressing individuality. How is an artisanal edible maker supposed to stand out in a sea of new brands trying to find a place in this ever-changing industry? In Florida, for instance, medical cannabis cannot have packaging that displays any kind of logo or depiction of the product, other than the referring medical clinic’s approved logo. Furthermore, the packaging must be plain and opaque, with only the universal cannabis logo on it.
For those manufacturing products with so many restrictions, it can be costly and time-consuming to package properly, but it is necessary to operate with transparency. The question becomes what is beneficial to both consumer and manufacturer, with a focus on responsibility. While most brands do everything needed to remain responsible, there is a lot of extra pressure in the cannabis industry to provide safe options.
Even with the restrictions, parents and lawmakers are still concerned about what happens after a product leaves the children-resistant packaging. Getting rid of access to edible products shouldn’t be the first line of defense, but that is what almost happened in Arkansas earlier this year. Lawmakers convinced that edibles would lead to adverse reactions moved to ban anyone from commercially producing them, but the bill didn’t pass.
Instead of removing access to edible options, a more universal method can assist with responsible and safe methods. While the THC symbol may work for some situations, there are many adults who know nothing about tetrahydrocannabinol, or what that label means. Furthermore, young children are more likely to associate symbols with a meaning, because they may not have a firm grasp on the alphabet.
To avoid any more confusion, the Green Cross Initiative was created, to ensure responsible consummation in an accessible way. When each individual edible is marked with a Cannacals™ green cross, the association to something medical naturally occurs. Crosses have been used for ages to symbolize medical items, so teaching children about the possible danger should be an easier task when they are used.
The green cross provides a stress-free way to determine medicated items, and it reduces the carbon footprint involved in production. Instead of using loads of plastic to ensure safety with child-resistant packaging, the simple transfers stay put with ease. This is especially the case when creating small-batch edibles for personal use.
Additionally, the crosses allow for a change of conversation that will promote a healthier understanding of cannabis. Instead of making products difficult to open or using alarming symbolism, the crosses reflect the medicinal benefits, which makes it easier to explain the potential benefits. So, a child can understand that a parent may need them, but that they aren’t supposed to consume them.
While the cannabis industry continues to work through the ever-changing rules and challenges, responsible use must remain a priority. Medicine should be accessible to everyone who needs it, and that won’t happen if edibles continue to be low-hanging fruit for opponents of legalization. To prevent this, join the many businesses who use Cannacals™, such as Canuvo in Maine, and Happyseed Edibles in California.
Our goal is to make the green cross the universal symbol to promote safe and responsible use in states where cannabis is legal recreationally, and encourage the labels for personal use. Calling your state representatives and letting them know you want a simpler and more effective symbol is the first step in moving this initiative forward. Together, we can work to move legalization forward while also preventing accidental consumption.
By Diana Krach
Diana-Ashley Krach is a freelance writer, journalist, and content creator whose work can be found on EverydayFeminism, Ravishly, HelloGiggles, Playboy, Cosmopolitan, DAME, SheKnows and more. She is also the co-host of Your Highness Podcast and founder of Good Vibes Marketing Agency.