Food

California: Ban on Bear-Shaped Gummy Edibles Moves Forward

To prevent children from accidentally ingesting weed, a ban on gummy bear-shaped edibles moves forward in California.

In California, a ban on gummy bear-shaped edibles moves forward. While this ban may seem arbitrary and a bit silly, there is actually a pressing reason for it. The ban on gummy bear-shaped edibles is to protect children from accidental cannabis ingestion.

Kids, Candy, and Cannabis

It’s no secret that kids love candy. Everyone knows this. Candy companies exploit this fact and target their advertisements to young audiences. It almost doesn’t matter what kind of candy it is. If it’s sugary and brightly colored, you can be certain that kids are going to want it.

While this typically isn’t too bad of a problem, it does pose a unique issue in states with legal cannabis. Kids are accidentally ingesting edibles. And they’re getting severely ill.

According to a JAMA study, the occurrence of pediatric hospitalization for accidental cannabis ingestion in Colorado increased between 2009 and 2015. In that state, hospitals saw a 34% increase in these cases, versus a 19% increase in the rest of the country.

The spike happened a year after Colorado legalized recreational cannabis. And over 50% of these hospitalizations were due to kids eating cannabis-infused edibles. This trend isn’t just a problem in the United States, either. It’s happening in other countries, too.

cannabis-infused sour gummy bear candies (L) are shown next to regular ones at right in a photo illustration near to where they were purchased in Northglenn, Colorado in this October 16, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

What About A Solution?

California is close to finalizing the legislature for recreational cannabis. But lawmakers want to prevent an increase in pediatric hospitalization due to accidental ingestion. And they have a reason to be concerned. Over the past two years, there have been at least two instances of children accidentally eating cannabis-infused candy.

So what is California to do? Halt the legalization of recreational cannabis? Not quite. Instead, a ban on gummy bear-shaped edibles moves forward in the legislation.

Furthermore, the proposed bill will prohibit cannabis companies in California from producing edibles in shapes of animals, humans, fruit, or insects. The idea behind this is to make edibles less appealing to young children, thus preventing accidental ingestion.

The Ban on Gummy Bear-Shaped Edibles Is Moving Forward

So would a ban on candy edibles work? Is the solution to end accidental ingestion really so simple? As of yet, we don’t have any data to support this idea. But when it comes to the safety of children, shouldn’t every precaution be taken?

The states of Colorado and Washington have already adjusted their cannabis laws regarding edibles. Now, both states have strict preventative regulations. In those states, manufacturers now use child-resistant packaging and warning labels, as well as adjusting the allowed dose in edibles.

But the onus of keeping kids safe can’t just be on the manufacturers. Parents who consume cannabis need to practice personal responsibility. To prevent children from ingesting cannabis, parents should treat their medicine like medicine. As in, keep it out of reach and locked away in a proper storage container.

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