Sunday, July 17, 2005

State Wants to Weed Out Pot-Flavored Candy

State Wants to Weed Out Pot-Flavored Candy

NEW YORK (July 12) - Connecticut Tuesday joined a growing effort to weed out marijuana-flavored candy from store shelves when its attorney general said he would sponsor a statewide ban on "Pot Suckers" lollipops.

Five other states have either banned or are considering a ban on the candy, causing New Jersey distributor ICUP to suspend further sales of the green candy as of June 28.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said the candy was being sold in novelty stores in large malls throughout the state, marketed with slogans such as "Every lick is like taking a hit."

The candy, which is flavored with hemp essential oil, does not contain THC, the hallucinogenic compound in marijuana, but Blumenthal called it "a gateway product" that "glamorizes drugs for children."

The candy has been banned by the Chicago City Council and in Suffolk County, New York. The New York City Council and the states of Michigan, New Jersey and Georgia are considering legislation to ban them.

ICUP president Steve Trachtenberg said reaction to the Pot Suckers "borders on ridiculous."

"Is it a novelty? Yes. Was it meant to encourage kids to use drugs? Absolutely not," he said, noting that more than 70 percent of U.S. candy consumption is by adults.

Trachtenberg said that in addition to suspending distribution of Pot Suckers because of the backlash, his company has put on hold plans for related items, including a hemp-flavored chocolate candy Buzz Bar.

Other marijuana-flavored candy products have found their way to the market place in recent months including "Kronic Kandy," made in the Netherlands and sold in the Atlanta area, and items from the Mary Jane Candy Company including "Ganja Pops" and "Icky Sticky Nuggets."

07/12/05 19:40 ET