A bill passed this week by members of Missouri’s state Senate would ban candy products infused with marijuana from being sold for medicinal use.
The legislation “would ban candy, lollipops, cotton candy, and fruit- and animal-shaped edibles that could appeal to children,” according to the Associated Press, while requiring marijuana food products and packaging “to be stamped with the drugs’ dosage.”
The bill passed the state Senate by a 28-1 vote on Monday, and will now head to the state House.
Other states have passed similar measures banning marijuana edibles and candies as an effort to prevent the products from reaching children.
Sixty-six percent of Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2018 to legalize medical marijuana, bringing the state in line with more than 30 others that have laws permitting the treatment for qualifying patients.
That resounding success at the ballot has been reflected by the subsequent demand. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services released figures earlier this month showing that it had approved applications from more than 35,000 patients seeking a medical cannabis prescription — far higher than original projections.
In December, Missouri officials said they had approved nearly 22,000 medical marijuana cards since July, which, like the latest figures, also surpassed projections.
According to the Associated Press, “the University of Missouri’s Economic and Policy Analysis Research Center previously estimated that the state wouldn’t reach” 22,000 patients until 2021.
Still, the rollout of Missouri’s medical marijuana program has been marred by some controversy.
Myriad Mishaps For Marijuana In Missouri
There have been more than 800 appeals filed by individuals who were denied licenses to run medical marijuana businesses, with many of the concerns surrounding Wise Health Solutions, a company that was hired by Missouri to score the license applications.
Wise Health operates as a joint venture with two other entities: Veracious Investigative and Compliance Solutions, a Nevada-based consulting firm that works in the cannabis industry, and Oaksterdam University, an unaccredited higher learning institution in California billed as “America’s first cannabis college.” The school conducted seminars in Missouri last year centered around helping license applications and forging industry relationships, raising questions about a potential conflicts of interest in the application process.