Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Marijuana rules do not address edibles that are kid-friendly

Earlier today, the Liquor Control Board released their proposed rules that, if ultimately enacted, will help govern our state's commercial marijuana system.  While the rules do incorporate some suggestions made by Prevention WINS and other youth substance abuse prevention advocates, they do not address marijuana-infused foods and beverages that are attractive to youth.

In addition to marijuana-infused breakfast cereals and sodas, here are a few examples of marijuana-infused foods that are currently available:

 Marijuana baked goods that look like Twinkies and Hostess CupCakes

Marijuana sno-cones
Marijuana lollipops

In a letter to the Liquor Control Board, the Prevention WINS coalition asked that marijuana-infused products that appeal to youth be prohibited:

Recently, a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association – Pediatrics discussed the increase in unintentional ingestion of marijuana among children in Colorado. 
As the Board knows from experience, many flavored malt beverages are fruit flavored and particularly attractive to minors.   In one survey about underage drinking, when asked what one type of alcohol drink they would most prefer, 30% of teens said “alcopops” (the term used to describe these flavored alcoholic beverages – a combination of “alcohol” and “pop”). 

In the past, the Board has banned the sale of certain alcohol products because of the high likelihood that the products are attractive to minors.  A similar ban should be placed on marijuana-infused products that are attractive to minors and resemble products primarily consumed by children.  Examples of such products, many of which currently may be sold in medical marijuana access points, include but are not limited to:
  • Hard candy, lollipops, and cookies shaped like animals, people, cartoon and other characters, Christmas trees, snowmen, stars, etc.,
  • Soda-pop,
  • Juice,
  • Candy bars,
  • Pop-Tarts,
  • “Gummy” candies shaped like worms, bears, etc. 

Some flavored tobacco and alcohol products are also banned because of their potential to attract young people.  The Board should ban marijuana products containing flavorings such as fruit, candy, and vanilla.

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