Montana has formally adopted the the International Intoxicating Cannabis Product Symbol (IICPS) for use on all cannabis product packages starting on January 1, 2022.
Working with Doctors for Cannabis Regulation and other stakeholders, Founder and Past President David L. Nathan, MD, proposed the Universal Cannabis Product Symbol (UCPS) in 2019. After its publication in 2020, a broad discussion with various stakeholders led to a series of changes to the UCPS. Working with the standards organization ASTM, David Nathan and collaborator Eli Nathan co-designed a modified version of the UCPS, which was renamed the International Intoxicating Cannabis Product Symbol (IICPS).
As individual US states and the federal government approach legalization of cannabis for medical and adult use, a universal symbol for cannabis products is essential to the protection of public health and safety. Currently, states that have legalized cannabis for medical or adult use have implemented differing requirements for cannabis labeling. These standards vary widely, and in the absence of federal standardization, the solutions that are best for one jurisdiction may not be suitable for another. Nonetheless, there is one anchor point to ensure that Americans of all ages and backgrounds can correctly identify and exercise caution with cannabis products: a universal symbol on cannabis packages. Such a symbol is critical for, among other reasons, preventing the accidental ingestion of cannabis by adults and children.
Other states are looking to follow Montana's lead. Coming soon is the expected ASTM approval of the IICPS as an international consensus standard, which will make it the first and only true universal cannabis product symbol.
Read the article in Cannabis Science & Technology on the symbol.
David L. Nathan, MD, DFAPA is a psychiatrist, writer, and educator in Princeton NJ. He is the founder of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation and served as our first President. Dr. Nathan is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. While maintaining a full-time private practice, he serves as Director of Continuing Medical Education for the Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) and Director of Professional Education at Princeton House Behavioral Health (PHBH). While serving on the steering committee of New Jersey United For Marijuana Reform (NJUMR.org), Dr. Nathan was surprised by the absence of any national organization to act as the voice of physicians who wish to guide our nation along a well-regulated path to cannabis legalization. This need was the inspiration for Doctors for Cannabis Regulation.