SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California lawmakers want to crack down on cannabis that looks like candy.
They’re called edibles, and with marijuana now legal in California, they’re sending more and more kids to the emergency room. Now a proposed law just passed in the Assembly would get the industry to stop making them.
The candy is often used to treat chronic pain.
“Patients like them because they can use them during the day time when they’re in high levels of pain,” said Richard Miller with the dispensary A Therapeutic Alternative.
But Richard Miller says “edibles”- sweet stuff packed with pot-aren’t just enticing for medical marijuana patients. Children try them too.
“Typically they are left at home and the parent doesn’t secure them properly,” said Miller.
At his Sacramento dispensary, there’s now a temporary solution: child-proof packaging.
“Pharmacy screw to put all your medicine right into it,” he said, pointing to a prescription type bottle sold to customers.
But state lawmakers say pill bottles don’t do go far enough to keep kids out of candy bags laced with cannabis. Assemblyman Rudy Salas is proposing banning edibles from looking like candy altogether.
“When you want to market a product toward children, unsuspecting children, and do them harm, yes i take that personally,” said Salas.
But edibles are a budding business.
“When Proposition 64 passed it was for adult use and let’s make sure it was for adult use,” said Salas.
Since recreational marijuana became legal in January, doctors say more and more children are ending up in the ER with pot poisoning.
UC Davis Emergency Room Doctor and Toxicologist Dan Colby says most of the cases are accidental.
“We’ve had young children, ages less than 2, all the way up to teenagers, who mistakenly ingest things they think are gummy bears or lifesavers or chocolate bars and they get quite intoxicated. They get high,” he said.
Miller promotes opaque packaging and expects to see a new batch of edibles hit dispensary shelves soon.
As for the edibles bill, it now heads to the senate for a vote.