DCR issues variance for labeling for marijuana edibles
This week, Missouri marijuana regulators issued a new variance, updating regulations for the labeling of marijuana-infused edible products. The variance to existing requirements, announced on February 5, 2024, specifically affects how ingredients, particularly flavorings, are disclosed on product labels.
19 CSR 100-1.120(1)(C)2 mandated that labels on marijuana products clearly list all active and additional ingredients, without resorting to broad categories like “natural flavors” or “botanically derived terpenes.”
The new guidance introduces a more lenient approach for edibles labeling, permitting the consolidation of natural and artificial flavoring components into general terms such as “lime flavoring,” “natural banana flavoring,” or “artificial strawberry flavoring.” This adjustment addresses the burden on manufacturers have been outspoken about due to the confidentiality of flavoring formulas by their creators.
This leniency, however, is not extended to products intended for inhalation, like vape cartridges, due to the potential health risks associated with inhaling certain flavoring additives. DCR has stated its objective is to maintain strict transparency in these cases to protect consumer safety.
The rationale behind this regulatory adjustment is twofold according to regulators: to acknowledge the minimal health risk posed by food flavorings when used appropriately in edibles and to address the practical challenges licensees encounter with the full disclosure of flavoring ingredients due to trade secret protections.
Despite the new variance, DCR underscores the importance of accurately disclosing all non-flavoring ingredients. Misrepresenting or concealing these ingredients under flavoring groupings could be seen as misleading and result in penalties.
Additionally, DCR may request detailed ingredient lists from licensees at any time. In such instances, proprietary information can be protected under the label of “proprietary business information,” ensuring confidentiality in line with Article XIV Section 2.4(7) and relevant laws.
This update signifies a thoughtful recalibration of Missouri’s cannabis regulations, aiming to strike a balance between ensuring consumer safety and acknowledging the operational challenges faced by the edible marijuana industry.
Read the communications letter in full below.