Culture

Colorado Bans Pot Gummy Bears

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In Colorado, where marijuana is legal, stricter guidelines aim to make it less likely that small children accidentally ingest the drug. As of October 1, edible marijuana products shaped like gummy bears, animals, people, and fruit will be banned. The ban was approved in 2016. At a hearing on the subject, lawmakers were unable to distinguish between regular gummy bears, and those containing THC, or the drug in marijuana that causes people to feel “high.”

CBS News has more on the ban:

The marijuana industry isn’t alone in trying to anticipate what will catch a grabby toddler’s eye. People call Colorado’s poison control hotline thousands of times each year when kids swallow household cleaners and prescription medications — far more often than they call about marijuana products, said Larry Wolk, the state health agency’s executive director.

“Anything that can look like candy is more enticing to kids,” Wolk said.

But as part of an ongoing effort to avoid a federal crackdown on its marijuana experiment, Colorado has made cutting the number of accidental ingestion reports a priority. In an August letter responding to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ request for information on marijuana legalization, Colorado’s governor highlighted the state’s progressively stricter packaging and labeling requirements as a key part of its efforts to minimize retail pot’s appeal to kids.

Similar restrictions on the shapes of marijuana edibles are going into effect in other states that have legalized marijuana, like California and Washington. In Colorado, dispensaries are taking further steps to keep the drugs out of the hands of children.

At Colorado Harvest Company, a Denver dispensary, CEO Tim Cullen displays the result: a chocolate bar wrapped in a paper sleeve that’s difficult for even an adult to slide off; cookies stamped with “T-H-C” in edible dye; and colorful gem-shaped lozenges sold in a white vial capped with a childproof top.

“The same rules that apply to alcohol or prescription medication have to apply to marijuana,” Cullen said. “Realizing that you have an adult product in your house and making sure your children can’t get it is the ultimate line of defense.”

It is the hope that such measures will alert people to the potency of the edible they are about to ingest, and also keep those who are under 21 from accidentally ingesting them.