Washington state warned to keep legal pot out of candy sold to kids

(File/Reuters)
(File/Reuters)

With recreational marijuana legalized for adults in Washington state, drug abuse prevention advocates are pushing for rules to shield children from treats containing pot that are headed for the consumer mainstream.

A flood of buzz-inducing cookies, candy and beverages is expected to hit the shelves of state-licensed marijuana stores starting next year. Some medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington already sell lollipops and other treats containing marijuana.

“The rules for labeling should be broadened to prohibit images and messages that are designed to attract young people,” said retired University of Washington social work professor Roger Roffman.

Roffman, co-editor of the book “Cannabis Dependence: Its Nature, Consequences, and Treatment”, was among a group of drug abuse prevention advocates who wrote a letter last month to state pot regulators noting that medical marijuana dispensaries were selling brightly colored lollipops, cotton candy and snow cones with an “obvious appeal to children.”

They suggested adding rules to ensure that recreational-use pot product wrappers “not bear a reasonable resemblance to packaging of any commercially branded candy that is not a marijuana-infused product.”

That is a reference to items like Buddahfingers, Pot Tarts and Stoney Ranchers, all made by Beyond Bomb, a California enterprise shut down by federal authorities in 2006. Its packaging closely resembled existing food products.

Washington and Colorado, which long ago legalized medical marijuana, last year became the first U.S. states to allow the recreational use of pot, which the federal government still considers an illegal drug. Another 16 states allow medical marijuana.

CONCERN FOR CHILDREN

As they set up a framework for a legal pot marketplace for pot, Colorado and Washington state already plan advertising restrictions on pot, but draft marijuana rules released last week in Washington state do not place similar restrictions on packaging or labeling of pot products.

The draft marijuana rules released by the Washington State Liquor Control Board last week include barring pot advertisements from appearing within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds and other places where children congregate.

The rules would also bar ads from depicting toys, cartoon characters or anything “especially appealing to children” or others under age 21.

As with Colorado’s emergency marijuana rules unveiled last week, the Washington draft rules require pot products to carry health warnings and to come in child-resistant packaging.

Colorado’s pot regulators have been instructed by state lawmakers to ban “mass-market campaigns that have a high likelihood of reaching minors,” but have yet to detail their planned restrictions on advertising, marketing and signage.

Mikhail Carpenter, spokesman for the Washington State Liquor Control Board, said it was weighing whether to tighten the rules around what sellers can put on marijuana product packaging.

“Obviously, we don’t want cartoon characters on labels,” he said.

Dante Jones, owner of the popular Seattle-based Manja Ganja line of baked marijuana goods as well as a medical marijuana dispensary, said he was confident that there is room for recreational-use packaging that appeals to adults while not drawing in children.

The Cheeba Chews pot candy that his dispensary carries, for example, come in monochrome wrappers warning they are “extremely potent.”

“It’s not about making packaging unattractive,” Jones said. “There’s room to create products that are simple and 2013-looking that aren’t flashy and showy with bright colors.”

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…