Critics Blame Flavored Cannabis Products for Targeting Kids

Critics Blame Flavored Cannabis Products for Targeting Kids
High Times

A chorus of experts are growing concerned about the prevalence of candy-flavored cannabis products and other flavors that appeal to children in states with legal cannabis.  Part of the uproar was spurred when a New York official showed a watermelon-flavored cannabis edible product to the local media amid the state’s first days of adult-use cannabis sales, taking place earlier this month. The Associated Press reports that pressure is mounting to address the way cannabis products allegedly target children, with several individuals chiming in with expertise in epidemiology and tobacco control research. “We should learn from the nicotine space, and I certainly would advocate that we should place similar concern on cannabis products in terms of their appealability to youth,” said Katherine Keyes, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University. “If you go through a cannabis dispensary right now,” she said, “it’s almost absurd how youth oriented a lot of the packaging and the products are.”  New York’s adult-use cannabis market recently kicked off. The state’s adult-use law bans marketing and advertising that is designed in any way that appeals to children or other minors. But the state’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has not yet established defined rules on labeling, packaging, and advertising. What would a ban look like? Some concepts would ban images of food, candy, soda, drinks, cookies, or cereal on packaging. OCM officials believe these images could appeal to minors. “Consumers need to be aware—parents need to be aware—if they see products that look like other products that are commonly marketed to kids, that’s an illicit market product,” said Lyla Hunt, OCM’s deputy director of public health and campaigns. But when OCM Chief Chris Alexander showed a watermelon-flavored edible product to the media at New York’s first licensed adult-use cannabis store, people’s heads were rolling. Per New…

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