Pot Matters: The Shocking Truth About Edible Cannabis Candy

edibles, marijuana and candy
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One of the new scare campaigns used by opponents of marijuana’s legalization is focused on edible cannabis products in general and edible cannabis candy in particular.

While there are some legitimate concerns about edible cannabis products—over dosages and product labeling—these are easily addressed by regulations such as those adopted in Colorado.

However, legalization opponents are quite concerned over edible cannabis candies, and they want to convince the public these are designed to entice children.  For example, in an article about the now-notorious “Kevin” ad, Boston Magazine reports this claim by Nick Bayer, campaign manager for Safe and Healthy Massachusetts: “Passing Question 4 means we will see the advertising and sale of highly potent marijuana candies, an increase in drugged driving on our roads, and marijuana shops popping up in our neighborhoods.”

But the shocking truth about “highly potent marijuana candies” is that these types of products are conventional products in most pharmacies, but they contain other pharmacological products rather than cannabis.

Step back from the campaign rhetoric and return to some of the early arguments about medical cannabis. Opponents argued that medicinal drugs are not smoked. In other words, there has been long-argued concerns that there are problems for some patients which make smoking cannabis unadvisable. The concern here is over the delivery method for getting cannabinoid drugs into the body. Oral ingestion, by way of edible products, is an alternative delivery method for cannabinoid drugs that is better suited for the needs of many patients.

Adjusting the delivery method for therapeutic drugs is a common practice in the pharmaceutical industry. The use of alternative medicine forms is a widespread and respected practice. Many pharmacies advertise this service to their potential customers.

The Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA) describes many of the common alternatives offered by the modern pharmacy. Available dosage forms include capsule, oral liquids, troches or lollipops, topical preparations, suppositories, eye and ear drops and nasal sprays, and sterile injections. Also, the use of custom flavoring is popular, particularly in oral liquids and lollipops, which are enhanced with sweeteners and pleasant-tasting flavors.

So, really, the cannabis candy issue is nothing new.

It’s just one more item in our complex world that requires appropriate precautions by responsible adults. There are a lot of things adults need to keep away from children, especially when it comes to drugs and common household products (like detergent packets and cleaning chemicals). Does the public get hysterical about glasses of scotch being left over night on living room tables where children could pick them up and drink them in the morning? Is it a public policy emergency that pharmacies prepare morphine lollipops for patients in chronic pain?

Edible cannabis candy is an innovative product designed to meet consumer needs, particular the needs of medical cannabis patients. The product has costs and benefits, with costs here referring specifically to the need for safety-oriented precautions. The products need to be adequately labeled, with information about dosage and a warning to keep the product away from the reach of children. Consumers need to be educated about the proper use of these products and about appropriate safeguards.

These are regulatory and public education issues—not obstacles in the way of legalization.

Previously in Pot Matters: The Most Dangerous Question for MMJ After the Election 

Read all of Jon Gettman’s columns right here.

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