DENVER – Colorado pot shops would have to post warnings for pregnant and nursing women under a bill that passed its first test at the state Legislature on Tuesday.
The warnings bill represents’ lawmakers second attempt to place the signs in medical and recreational dispensaries. The earlier version was withdrawn after moms and legalization supporters howled that the warnings under consideration were unscientific, considering that little is known about pot’s potential harm to babies.
The revised version would require warnings telling pregnant and nursing women about “potential risks caused by marijuana.”
A potential version brought by the bill’s sponsor shows an infant and the words “MARIJUANA AND YOUR BABY,” followed by a statement in bold font, “There is no known safe amount of marijuana use during pregnancy.”
The actual signs would be written by the state Health Department. Already, recreation pot products in Colorado must be labeled, “There may be additional health risks associated with the consumption of this product for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning on becoming pregnant.”
The warning isn’t enough, said Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont and one of the warning bill sponsors. He said moms need to see more facts about a newly legal product.
“This isn’t about scaring people. This isn’t about presenting people with fearful information,” Singer said.
The bill passed 10-3. Some lawmakers questioned why Colorado would require the warning signs in pot shops, when bars and liquor stores have no similar signage required.
“It seems like we’re singling out this industry,” Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora, said.
The lone industry group opposed to the warnings, the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, made the same point.
“Bars, liquor stores, clubs, taverns, they should be required to have these warnings as well,” argued Tyler Henson, president of the group.
Lawmakers disagreed, saying that because marijuana is newly legal, moms may not know as much about it as they do tobacco or alcohol.
“The same information (about pot) is not as readily known by the general public,” Singer said.
The bill now awaits debate by the full House.