Food full of pot remains legal

Thursday, March 3, 2011 6:35 PM

DENVER – Pot brownies will remain legal to buy at medical marijuana dispensaries after a state lawmaker backed down from her attempt to ban them Tuesday.

Rep. Cindy Acree, R-Aurora, had introduced House Bill 1250 to ban marijuana “edibles,” which include not only pot-infused brownies, but everything from soda and tea to pizza, gelato and biscotti.

The House Judiciary Committee delayed a vote on the bill Tuesday, but not before Acree signaled her intent to radically weaken the bill.

Acree wants to transform the bill into a ban on the marketing of marijuana-infused food to children, and a requirement to package the products in child-proof containers.

“We’re finding it on school playgrounds. I know that kids are not allowed to buy this product, but it is still falling into their hands,” Acree said.

Police officers also testified that they know of cases where children have taken pot brownies or lollipops to school and sold them.

Acree displayed pictures of “Captain Chronic” and “Pot Tarts,” which look like the breakfast foods Cap’n Crunch and Pop Tarts.

But medical marijuana advocates who testified questioned whether those were real products or if they are sold in Colorado.

Marijuana business owners said they are acting responsibly under last year’s bill that granted licenses to sell marijuana to people with a doctor’s recommendation.

“We do not want medical marijuana products being given to children,” said Greg Goldfogel, owner of Mangia Ganja, which makes pot-infused gourmet Italian foods. “We are being good citizens.”

Even Acree’s newly weakened bill still faces resistance.

Matt Cook, head of the medical marijuana division at the Department of Revenue, said he wasn’t arguing for or against it, but any regulation on marketing can get dicey.

“It does create a number of First Amendment issues that can get very litigious,” Cook said.

But he likes the second part of Acree’s rewritten bill, which requires opaque, childproof packages for pot-infused food.

Reach Joe Hanel at