Candy Makes You Dandy

 In POLITICS

If haven’t tried them, you’ve certainly seen or heard about them. People have probably been putting marijuana in brownies, since brownies were invented. Nowadays though, cannabis is be put in seemingly everything, and candy is consistently at the top position of the most popular cannabis edibles list. Hard candies, truffles, and gummies have especially been quickly gaining in popularity. Edibles can provide many benefits to the user. They can be great for relaxing, alleviating muscle pain at the end of the day, and they’re arguably a healthier alternative to smoking. But, eat too much, and you could end up in the throes of what feels like a bad trip. Starting with a low dose, and working your way up is always sensible when first starting to experience edibles.

Kids like candy, arguably more than adults. This has state lawmakers across the country proceeding with great caution as they implement cannabis laws. Colorado banned the sale of cannabis-infused products that are shaped in certain ways in the beginning of October. The Colorado Department of Revenue released a statement saying, “Beginning October 1, edible marijuana-infused products in the shape of a human, animal or fruit are strictly prohibited, including shapes that resemble or contain characteristics of a realistic or fictional human, animal, or fruit, including artistic, caricature, or cartoon renderings.” If adults are bringing edibles home that look exactly like a piece of non-marijuana candy, there’s a risk a child may unknowingly consume the edible.

California’s Legislature recently approved a law prohibiting cannabis being marketed to minors. The approved law read cannabis edibles cannot be “designed to be appealing to children or easily confused with commercially sold candy or foods that do not contain cannabis.” California’s full adult-use market is set to go on-line in about 3 months.

Here in Maine, we have an expanding edibles market.

Back in 2015, Maine’s cannabis edibles market accounted for 5.4 percent of our 8 dispensaries’ total sales, equating to $1.2 million. The market expanded in 2016, as Mainers consumed roughly $2 million worth of edibles, accounting for 7.4 percent of the total sales reported by our dispensaries. Trends across the country suggest that the consumption of edibles will continue to increase.

The language for our adult-use market is currently being decided upon by the Maine Legislature.  The most recent language reads, “a retail marijuana product may not contain an additive designed to make the product more appealing to children”.  But this language is expected to change, bringing better clarity.  The common thread throughout each state’s Legislation is that edibles can’t look exactly like candy children are already familiar with.  But how far is too far?  Highly restrictive and ambiguous rule making will make it near impossible to infuse anything with cannabis, and rules that are too loose have potential to endanger kids.  Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see the work the chefs and bakers begin to create as they navigate the ever-changing Legislative landscape.  We will keep you up to date as news comes out, as this will have a big impact on local businesses and the coming adult-use market.

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