The Candy Counter: Georgia Set to Ban Sales of Marijuana-Flavored Lollipops to Kids

Under a bill passed by the Georgia House of Representatives Tuesday, retailers there may soon be barred from selling lollipops, gumdrops, and any other candies flavored to taste like marijuana to children. The bill, HB 280, steamrolled through the House, passing by a margin of 133-26.

The bill is aimed at businesses that sell candies with drug-inspired names like "Pot Suckers" and "Kronic Kandy." Such products are flavored with hemp essential oil to create the taste of marijuana, but do not contain measurable amounts of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

If it passes the Senate, Georgia would become the first state to enact such a ban. The sale of marijuana-flavored candies has already been outlawed in the city of Chicago, Suffolk County, New York, and parts of Alameda County, California.

"This kind of product is being taken to concerts like the old ice cream pop that is being marketed on the street," said Republican state Rep. Judy Manning of Marietta, the bill's sponsor. "They're selling for $4 to $8 apiece. It's quite expensive and it's quite detrimental to our children."

Manning's bill says the candies promote drug use and promote the "false impression that marijuana is fun and safe." It bans the sale of "marijuana flavored products" to minors, with offenders subject to a $1,000 fine for each offense.

Atlanta is home to Coca-Cola. As Vote Hemp national outreach coordinator Tom Murphy told DRCNet in an e-mail message, "This makes you wonder if they would consider banning a coca-flavored soft drink. That's marketed to children and..."

Murphy also pointed out an error made by the New York Times in an article appearing Wednesday: The Times said the candies were made with hempseed oil -- an ingredient used in many now-mainstream food products that doesn't taste like marijuana -- as opposed to the candies' actual ingredient, hemp essential oil.

Vote Hemp is backing a state Senate bill, SB 258 that would create an exemption for hemp-based foods.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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