The California Assembly passed Assembly Bill 350 on Monday, which aims to ban cannabis-infused edibles that resemble traditional candies in the shapes of animals, fruit or commercially produced candies and foods. The bill intends to ensure public safety by prohibiting cannabis edibles that appeal to children. Additionally, AB-350 would not outright ban edibles that are in compliance.
AB-350 aims to explicitly define California’s broad edible restrictions to specifically prohibit cannabis products that are designed “to be appealing to children or easily confused with commercially sold candy or foods that do not contain marijuana.” It’s the most restrictive of three bills that seek to beef up edible restrictions.
“When you want to market a product toward children, unsuspecting children, and do them harm, yes I take that personally,” Assemblyman Rudy Salas told CBS Sacramento. “When Proposition 64 passed it was for adult use and let’s make sure it was for adult use.” Proposition 64 already includes provisions that enforce proper labeling and child-resistant packaging to discourage underage consumption. Proposition 64 also prohibits the sale of cannabis products
Officials sounded the alarm after a study linked an increased exposure to children after legalization in Colorado. Edibles is the fastest-growing arm of the commercial cannabis industry, and there’s more focused attention on the potential risks. Most major edible manufacturers have adopted standards to keep medical cannabis out of the hands of children. States like Washington have adopted strict regulations on edibles. Edible processors must get approval from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board for all cannabis-infused edibles.
Patients that need medical cannabis around the clock can rely on edibles. “Patients like them because they can use them during the day time when they’re in high levels of pain,” said Richard Miller from A Therapeutic Alternative. Miller is promoting opaque packaging requirements before recreational cannabis products become available to consumers.
Sen. Jim Nielsen’s SB-663 was passed by the Senate and would ban edible products that are wrapped in transparent packaging. Sen. Henry Stern’s SB-794 would require all cannabis-infused edible products to clearly display a universal symbol chosen by the Bureau of Marijuana Control.
The bill now heads to the Senate for approval.