Infused goodies that look like regular candy - whether knock-off Reese's and Almond Joy bars or cute little medicated watermelon tarts - have sparked controversy: candy companies cry copyright infringement, while the anti-drug crowd claims such candies encourage kids to get high.
A Colorado lawmaker has recently produced a measure to ban marijuana-fused candies, even though an industry group has already introduced standards that would eliminate these products from the marketplace.
State Representative Dan Pabon said his bill would prohibit edible marijuana to be sold in the form of an animal, human or fruit, common shapes for gummy candies favored by young children.
"Right now in Colorado, there are no distinguishing characteristics between the gummy bear that contains marijuana and one that does not," Pabon said.
Washington state has already tightened the rules on edible products made with cannabis, said Rick Garza, director of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis board. The state outlawed brightly-colored marijuana lollipops and other sweets that would appeal to children.
Cannabis industry is already respond to public concerns
In February, The Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (C4) announced new, voluntary edible standards that work to, "ensure our members adopt manufacturing and sales standards which recognize that legal marijuana should only be consumed by adults," according to a statement by C4 president Tyler Henson.
The newly adopted standard contains this provision:
"C4 manufactures will no longer produce or sell marijuana infused edibles that are in the shapes of humans or animals. Animal shapes such as gummy bears, gummy worms, 'sour patch kids,' and others items will be prohibited. As a business organization, C4 is committed to producing products that are marketed and sold only to law-abiding adults over the age of 21."
Pabon is pushing for state legislation, even though the industry seems determined to move forward on its own. However, he did praise the Cannabis Chamber of Commerce for its efforts at the time of the February announcement.
"I'm so encouraged to see C4 taking the initiative to come forward with industry driven solutions like these proposed edibles standards. I hope others in the industry will follow their lead - voluntarily or otherwise," he said.
The movement toward a total prohibition on cannabis gummies is either a total win for child safety, or a bummer for both medical patients and sweet-toothed consumers, depending on who you ask.
Adios, little buddies.