Edibles Are The Frontier In California’s Emerging Marijuana Industry

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — They’re the new frontier of pot products.

Candies, crackers, breath mints, even potato chips can be found at most marijuana dispensaries. Edibles are the fastest-growing segment of the multibillion-dollar cannabis industry.

Waylon Broussard is the co-founder of Edibles magazine. He says just a decade ago, there were only a handful of distributed food products infused with marijuana.

Now, he can hardly keep up.

“You’re seeing that edibles are actually 43 percent of the market share, so it’s increasingly growing every day that people are trying different form of cannabis,” Broussard said.

Edibles are enticing to people like disabled veteran Life Griffith, who would rather eat cannabis than smoke it. He takes candies for his chronic pain.

He’s says edible pot has definitely helped him.

“Without question,” Griffith said. “Better than the opiates the VA gives me.”

Now that California has legalized recreational pot, with sales expected to begin next year, “ganjapreneurs” are quickly jumping into the edibles market and looking for ways to differentiate.

Landon Wade is the owner of Auntie Em’s Edibles Co. He hopes his organic, vegan baked goods will appeal to health-conscious Californians.

“We have a red-velvet cupcake, a carrot cake cupcake, a dark chocolate cupcake,” Wade said. “We all just feel like we’re contributing to a movement.”

But it’s a movement not everyone is on board with.

“If more people eat edibles, we’re going to see more people addicted over time,” said David Sack, a doctor at Elements Behavioral Health.

One of his biggest concerns with edibles is their appeal to children. He points out that in states where recreational pot is legal, edibles have caused a spike in trips to emergency rooms.

“There’s going to be a significant risk of accidental poisonings of children unless we take measures … before it becomes legal,” Sack said.

California has yet to decide how to regulate edible products. Right now, there’s virtually no oversight into how these products are created and packaged.

Some states have outlawed gummies and require that edibles are sold in child-resistant packaging that’s opaque, which Broussard supports.

“I don’t want a child to take something he … should not have,” he said.

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