As if parents weren’t already worried enough about their children’s safety on Halloween, officials are now warning parents to be on the lookout for marijuana edibles mixed in with trick-or-treaters' candy.
The fear of costumed kids indulging on poisoned apples and candy bars laced with razor blades Oct. 31 has been longstanding in the U.S. But as more states loosen marijuana laws, with some legalizing both medical and recreational use, law enforcement officials are voicing concern for children getting tricked with marijuana edibles instead of receiving traditional candy.
In Florida — where voters will decide on legalizing medical marijuana throughout the state on Election Day — both the Florida Sheriff’s Association and Florida’s Poison Control have issued warnings about pot candy, according to reports.
After three men were arrested in New York for distributing candy laced with THC — marijuana's active ingredient that gets users high — police issued advisories to parents encouraging them to thoroughly check candy labels and make sure trick-or-treaters weren’t being deceived by unfamiliar yet attractive packaging.
Arizona’s Poison and Drug Information center also released a warning urging parents to be on the lookout for marijuana edibles that “look like regular treats.”
Despite the concern for trick-or-treaters ingesting marijuana edibles mixed in with all their other sugar-only Halloween candies, states that have legalized marijuana already – like Colorado and Washington – haven’t actually reported any instances it happening on Halloween since weed's new legal status took effect.
Marijuana advocates have consistently encouraged the use of safe marijuana consumption. Even marijuana dispensaries and edible manufactures like Colorado’s highest selling edible company, Incredibles, have been making sure their products were child-proofed long before the state introduced packaging laws for marijuana products in earlier this month.
"At Incredibles, we work hard to ensure that our products never fall into the hands of a child. In fact, since legalization, there hasn't been a documented incident of Incredibles products being mistaken for Halloween candy. We've worked with regulators to define best-practices surrounding child- packaging, proper labels and clearly marking our product to make sure even if they are out of the packaging they can't be confused with a traditional chocolate bar,” Incredibles Founder and President Bob Eschino said in an email statement to IBT. “At Incredibles, we're proud to have worked with the state of Colorado to help implement the new laws that went into place on Oct. 1st to help further safeguard consumers."
Colorado enacted a new state law requiring marijuana dispensaries and edible manufacturers to mark all THC-loaded edibles with a state-recognized symbol as of Oct. 1. Cannabis items must also be show the level of marijuana potency and contaminant testing information on child-resistant packaging. Retailers and producers have until Dec. 1 to make sure all products have the proper packaging. Parents can take some comfort in knowing that some companies have been taking precautions to keep marijuana edibles out of the hands of children long before Halloween or state-regulations were put in place.