Colorado Bans Marijuana Gummy Bears
DENVER (AP) Colorado has just banned any cannabis edibles that resemble animals, gummy bears, lollipops, fruit and people as of October 1. The ban comes after several children ate edibles after mistaking them for candy and were hospitalized. Lawmakers voted unanimously on a similar ban in 2016 prohibiting certain shapes after they were shown packages of plain gummy bears along with cannabis-infused gummy bears and were unable to tell them apart, according to Colorado's Department of Revenue director Mike Hartman.
The ban is also an effort from Colorado lawmakers to show the federal government how the state has implemented strict labeling and packaging rules. The efforts are an attempt to avoid attracting small children to edibles that may resemble candy. In a letter last August responding to an inquiry from Attorney General Jeff Sessions about legal cannabis legislation, the Governor of Colorado mentioned how the state’s packaging rules were part of an ongoing effort to safely regulate legal marijuana. The state’s efforts are also an attempt to avoid federal busts.
Since Colorado has legalized recreational marijuana, the state saw an increase of accidental overdoses form 19 percent to 34 percent in poison cases annually. Edibles contain significantly more THC than cannabis flowers and are therefore more potent. Symptoms in children who have overdosed on marijuana include trouble balancing, insomnia, vomiting and stomach aches. About 20 percent of cases required hospitalization for respiratory issues. Most symptoms dissipated within 24 hours. Experts recommended that adults treat marijuana products the same way they treat prescription drugs and alcohol in their homes by keeping it out of their children’s reach. Washington state has similar restrictions regarding packaging, and California is expected to follow their lead. California has already implemented restrictions on certain shapes of edibles appealing to kids. Marijuana dispensaries will also be required to label all products with the amount of THC contained to avoid adults consuming too many edibles.
By Niko Mann