Dec 7, 2010 10:10 PM by Jeannette Hynes

Panel hashing out medical marijuana rules

From chips and salsa to brownies and cookies, every product from Discreet Treats has a warning label.

"We decided to let people know they shouldn't be operating machinery. They shouldn't be driving a car when you do it," explains William Prince, co-owner of Discreet Treats.

Soon, those labels will be required on medical marijuana products. Right now, a state regulation panel is hashing out the details. Prince says he started putting labels on his marijuana-infused treats now to be ahead of the game and to be in control of what he sells.

"I want to make sure everything's safe for people. And I want to make sure they know what they're getting with our product," says Prince.

One state lawmaker is thinking about proposing a pot-driving impairment level, similar to the blood alcohol limit. Doctor Frank Polanco, Medical Director at HealthQuest Medical, says a law like that may be premature. Polanco is also certified with the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA).

"A lot of research has been done, but not enough research to be able to quantify a level of impairment based on one joint and one marijuana pill or whatever," says Polanco.

He says body fat stores THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, and excretes that THC over time. The more fat you have, the longer the THC stays in your system.

"Even if you stop smoking it, it continues to leach out of your body fat so you're still having a level that's there," explains Polanco. He says more research needs to be done before lawmakers put a number on impairment while driving.

"If you're going to be driving and have medical marijuana, you're an unsafe driver at this point," says Polanco.

While rule makers figure out what the rules will be, Prince plans to keep adding information, like nutritional value, ingredients, and marijuana strains, on his products to stay a step ahead of those rules.

Public hearings on the proposed regulations will take place in January, and could go into effect as early as March.



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