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Colorado Wants to Ban Marijuana Edibles

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It could be a major blow to the barely year-old industry.

Hold onto those pot brownies, Colorado residents. Today, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced in a release that it sought to ban almost all edibles, or marijuana-infused candy, cookies, and brownies. Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational use of marijuana in 2012 (though sales did not begin until January 1, 2014), and since then it has enjoyed a booming and highly profitable industry. Loopholes in the law were soon uncovered: A lack of regulation in the edibles industry, for example, has resulted in overdoses.

One hospital in Denver has taken in nine children who have accidentally ingested a marijuana edible and fallen ill.

The AP notes that while statewide numbers are not available, one hospital in Denver has taken in nine children who have accidentally ingested a marijuana edible and fallen ill. In addition to this motion, another group known as Smart Colorado wants "edible versions of marijuana [to] be colored, marked or stamped to indicate they contain the drug."

Though no government agency has yet attempted to regulate the amount of active drug in each edible product, the state is now admitting that cookies, brownies, and candy are inherently attractive to children. This acknowledgment means that the legalization of edibles violates the current law's "requirement to prevent the marketing of marijuana products to children." A final decision has not been made, but if passed, the law would take almost all edibles off store shelves. Lozenges and some liquids would remain legal.

With Halloween approaching — the first Halloween after weed became legal in Colorado — parents are concerned that children are at risk of accidentally eating or being given weed-infused candy. Still, the marijuana industry is against banning edibles. Joe Hodas, a spokesman for a company that produces marijuana-infused sodas and mints says: "Labeling and packaging are the best and only way to deal with accidental ingestion." According to critics, the proposal to ban edibles entirely would "help drive the black market" for weed-laden baked goods and other ingestibles.

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