In Defense of Pot Gummies

Being able to purchase marijuana in a retail store is a highlight of living in Washington, but legal cannabis in the Evergreen State is not without its shortcomings. Aside from the astronomical tax rate, some of the biggest drags in the regulated cannabis market are the limitations on edibles. Though I'm not a major consumer of edibles (I prefer the control and instant feedback of inhalation), there is one form of edibles I enjoy because they're small, tasty, and easy to titrate with: gummies.

EdiPure is a well known brand of cannabis candies

EdiPure is a well known brand of cannabis candies

According to WAC 314-55-077, "Marijuana-infused products that are especially appealing to children are prohibited. Marijuana-infused edible products such as, but not limited to, gummy candies, lollipops, cotton candy, or brightly colored products, are prohibited."

Their logic is that gummies and bright colors are especially appealing to children, implying that adults are not as interested in those types of edibles anyway. Speaking as a grown ass man with a beard, I can state with pride and honesty that I love gummy bears; they're a regular staple in my snack/ munchie regimen alongside Pot Tarts and raw almonds. While it [kinda, sorta] makes sense that dairy and temperature-controlled edibles are currently banned for food safety reasons, disallowing gummies and hard candies altogether seems like overkill, especially when the product is in demand. Even characters from Modern Family (on ABC, a Disney-owned network) recently jumped on the chance to try marijuana gummy bears when the opportunity presented itself.

Mitchell and Phil from Modern Family are stoked on weed gummies

Mitchell and Phil from Modern Family are stoked on weed gummies

It's strange how Washington families are trusted to lock up their pharmaceuticals, alcohol, firearms, and laundry detergent pods, yet aren't trusted to keep cannabis-infused gummy bears and lollipops out of the reach of children.

If the issue is animal shapes and bright colors, perhaps in the future the Liquor and Cannabis Board could allow for gummies as long as they aren't shaped like bears or anything cartoonish that might appeal to children. Perhaps they'd be little squares that say "10MG THC". 

To use an example outside of the marijuana industry, there are a number of vitamin companies producing their products in gummy forms for adults. They're often fruit shaped, and nearly indiscernible from [children's] fruit snacks. If a child eats too many gummy vitamins, overdose symptoms could include vomiting, vision problems, muscle weakness, difficulty walking, and nerve damage. Yikes.

These gummies are for adults only. Use as directed.

These gummies are for adults only. Use as directed.

However, since marijuana is nontoxic and impossible to die from, the argument can be made that the worst case scenario for children ingesting edibles is paranoia & confusion, and that's easily remedied with cartoons, cereal, pillows, and fruit juice (the same things that many adult cannabis consumers enjoy when under the influence).

A positive example of a gummy manufacturer within the cannabis industry is Americann of Northern California; their Gummi Cares are disc-shaped and individually wrapped, so the packaging just makes the product look like a condom. It's not less embarrassing to be seen with an alleged condom than infused [or even plain] gummy bears, but nobody can argue that the product "especially appeals to children."

Is that a gummy in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Is that a gummy in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Like many other provisions in Washington's cannabis regulations, we can only hope that they become more sensible over time. Until then, there's no law against making your own gummies for personal consumption... just don't share them with friends because gifting marijuana is still illegal.