Half-Baked — The Retail Promotion of Marijuana Edibles
A striking feature of the rollout of the state-legalized retail sales of marijuana has been the tremendous popularity of edible marijuana products. Marijuana brownies have long been a staple of cannabis coffee shops in the Netherlands, but the new products are quite different. They are skillfully produced and packaged to closely mimic popular candies and other sweets. These products can now be purchased legally in four states; retail stores are operating in Colorado and Washington State, and voters recently approved retail sales in Alaska and Oregon.
The new edibles raise public health concerns, including a risk of consumption by children. Although the states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana have only partially addressed these risks, many others — including Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, and Vermont — are likely to move legalization proposals forward, developments that may amplify the problem.