With the first Halloween since Colorado legalized retail marijuana just around the corner, parents are beginning to worry that their little ghosts and goblins might get more than just a trick or treat in their annual haul of candy.
Even Denver police are cautioning parents about the chance that marijuana edibles — cookies, candies and other treats infused with marijuana — might make it into their kids’ jackolantern pails.
DPD even went so far as to film a public service announcement, featuring the owner of a recreational marijuana dispensary, to highlight how hard it is to tell a harmless Gummi Bear from one infused with THC.
“Edibles account for somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of our gross sales here in the shop,” said Patrick Johnson, the owner of Urban Dispensary, in the police video.
“The most cost-effective way for [retail store owners] to bring that to the market is to use knock-off candy,” he said. “So they’ll buy it in bulk form and they’ll infuse it by using a viscous hash oil. They spray that onto the candy and once that candy dries, there’s really no way to tell the difference between candy that’s infused and candy that’s not infused.”
Making matters worse has been the practice of some manufacturers — quickly going out of favor, due to new rules around the packaging of edibles — to mimic the familiar packaging of the candy they are copying. Even those with unique wrappers, like single-dose “Cheeba Chews,” which pack a 70-mg dose of THC and which are modeled after Tootsie Rolls, look like many other anonymous single-serving candies.
“The problem is that some of these products look so similar to candy we’ve eaten as children, that there’s really no way for a child or a parent or even an expert in the field to tell you whether a product is infused or not,” Johnson said.
Police say parents should be on the lookout for loose candies or those distributed in plastic bags or which have otherwise been repackaged. They also suggest parents read the labels on all the candy their kids collect. If someone accidentally gives away their stash of Cheeba Chews to trick-or-treaters, the label will make it clear that they contains THC and should be used by adults only.
While police and parents are taking the possibility seriously, many marijuana enthusiasts laugh off the concerns as over-reactive.
“I don’t know a pothead around that is gonna intentionally throw a $10 or $20 bag of candy in a kid’s treat bag!” wrote one person to Denver magazine Westword when it first reported about the concerns.
Another chimed in that pot in candy is better than having them seeded with needles or razor blades, the thought of which has haunted parents for decades.
“Relax, nobody is going to give out edibles to your kids,” another Westword reader chimed in. “If they do, at least they’ll go to bed early.”
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