Marijuana-infused snacks are a booming business, with varieties ranging from chocolate-peppermint Mile High Bars to peanut butter candies infused with hash oil, reports the New York Times. Retail shops see them as a nonthreatening way into the marijuana pool, ideal for older customers, tourists in smoke-free hotels or anyone who wants the effect without smoke and coughing. The popularity of edible marijuana alarms parents' groups, schools and some doctors, who say the highly concentrated snacks are landing in the hands of teens looking for a sweet, discreet high, or of children too young to know the difference between pot brownies and regular ones.
Colorado, like other states with medical or recreational marijuana, has tried to keep the products away from children. It orders stores to sell them in child-resistant packages and bars labels designed to appeal to children. It requires manufacturers to list ingredients, serving sizes and expiration dates. Critics say the rules are not strict enough, especially for products that can contain 10 times as much psychoactive THC as the marijuana a casual user might take. “They're attractive to kids; they're easily disguised,” said Gina Carbone of Smart Colorado, which opposes legalization. “They're not being regulated properly at all to protect kids.” Fourteen children visited Children's Hospital Colorado for emergency ingestion of marijuana in a recent two-year period.