Brownie bites and espresso chocolate, with a kick

Cannabis regulators release online product catalog

IF YOU SEE a red raspberry hard lozenge in distinctive red and yellow packaging, it was likely sold at a NETA marijuana store and is infused with 50 mg of THC. A blueberry lemonade gummy, sold 10 at a time and featuring a distinctive cannabis leaf symbol, came legally from Patriot Care.

A new online product catalog launched by the Cannabis Control Commission provides a window into the innovative industry of adult use cannabis. Stores in Massachusetts today are selling infused espresso dark chocolate bars, watermelon chews, hazelnut truffles, mints, oatmeal cookies, and carrot cake cookies. There is a strawberry crunch bar made of cannabis, white chocolate, strawberries, and crispies. There are infused peanut butter cups and guava-flavored soft chews.

But unlike sites like Leafly and Weedmaps, meant to help hungry consumers order products, the state regulators’ site has another mission: improving public safety. It is the first marijuana product catalog of its kind in the country run by a regulatory agency, according to the commission.

“When using the Product Catalog, any visitor, such as a parent, school nurse, or public safety official, will be able to quickly distinguish whether a marijuana product is available in our legal marketplace or not,” commission executive director Shawn Collins said in a statement.

Former cannabis control commissioner Britte McBride first told CommonWealth about ongoing work on the catalog in a story published in November. She said the goal is to help police, school, and health officials track the source of products. That could help them determine if a product being used by a teenager was purchased at a legal dispensary or from an illicit source. “If products are getting into the hands of kids from regulated entities, we want to know that,” McBride said.

The catalog could also be used to quickly determine what is in a product, if someone is having a bad reaction to it. The listing includes the product name, a photo of the product and its packaging, a description, its THC and CBD content, all its ingredients, the serving size, and the company selling it.

Meet the Author

Shira Schoenberg

Reporter, CommonWealth

About Shira Schoenberg

Shira Schoenberg is a reporter at CommonWealth magazine. Shira previously worked for more than seven years at the Springfield Republican/MassLive.com where she covered state politics and elections, covering topics as diverse as the launch of the legal marijuana industry, problems with the state's foster care system and the elections of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Charlie Baker. Shira won the Massachusetts Bar Association's 2018 award for Excellence in Legal Journalism and has had several stories win awards from the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Shira covered the 2012 New Hampshire presidential primary for the Boston Globe. Before that, she worked for the Concord (N.H.) Monitor, where she wrote about state government, City Hall and Barack Obama's 2008 New Hampshire primary campaign. Shira holds a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

About Shira Schoenberg

Shira Schoenberg is a reporter at CommonWealth magazine. Shira previously worked for more than seven years at the Springfield Republican/MassLive.com where she covered state politics and elections, covering topics as diverse as the launch of the legal marijuana industry, problems with the state's foster care system and the elections of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Charlie Baker. Shira won the Massachusetts Bar Association's 2018 award for Excellence in Legal Journalism and has had several stories win awards from the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Shira covered the 2012 New Hampshire presidential primary for the Boston Globe. Before that, she worked for the Concord (N.H.) Monitor, where she wrote about state government, City Hall and Barack Obama's 2008 New Hampshire primary campaign. Shira holds a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

The site could also help the Cannabis Control Commission – and the public – keep close track of what licensees are selling to make sure they are following the rules. Stores are not allowed to sell products designed to appeal to children, like edibles in the shape of a human, animal, fruit, cartoon, or sporting equipment.

Marijuana companies are required to upload the data. As of Monday, when the commission announced the catalog’s release, there were 122,000 items on the site.