Cannabis-infused gummy bears are endangered in California after the state assembly approved a bill designed to ban any “candy if it is in the shape of a person, animal, insect, fruit, or in another shape normally associated with candy.”
Assembly Bill 350 seeks to strengthen the rules around edibles included in last November’s victorious Proposition 64 ballot measure, which legalized recreational marijuana consumption and sales in the state. Prop 64 specifically “prohibits marijuana products that are designed to be appealing to children or easily confused with commercially sold candy or foods that do not contain marijuana.”
But California lawmakers hope the tighter regulation will keep children from accidentally consuming marijuana edibles.
Assemblyman Rudy Salas introduced AB350 and for him, it’s personal. “When you want to market a product toward children, unsuspecting children, and do them harm, yes i take that personally,” Salas told CBS13 in Sacramento.
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In February, the Senate passed similar legislation — Senate Bill 663 —that would ban packaging that features cartoon characters or “resembling any candy, snack food, baked good, or beverage commercially sold without marijuana.”
Edibles are one of the fastest growing segments in the nascent legal cannabis industry. Because California will not officially begin its legal market until next year, sales data are sketchy. But in the state Washington, the edible market has skyrocketed 121 percent in sales in just one year, according to data from Headset Inc., a cannabis analytics firm.
In 2015, legal cannabis in the U.S. hit $5.4 billion, according to ArcView Market Research. Analysts have determined that edibles and other infused products make up at least half of the total.
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For many medical patients, edible cannabis is the preferred method for ingesting the herb. While it takes longer for intoxication to occur, the sensation lasts much longer. For those battling chronic pain, PTSD and other longer-lasting ailments, edibles are much more effective than smoked marijuana.
“You’re seeing that edibles are actually 43 percent of the market share, so it’s increasingly growing every day that people are trying different form of cannabis,” Waylon Broussard, co-founder of Edibles magazine, told CBS13.
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