Marijuana-Laced Treats Leave Colorado Jonesing For Food-Safety Rules

COLORADO: Where there’s pot, there’s pot brownies. But how do you make sure those high-inducing sweets are safe to eat?

Colorado regulators are wrestling with that question now that the state has legalized recreational marijuana. From sodas and truffles to granola bars and butter, food products infused with THC – the chemical in marijuana that gives you a high — are already for sale.

The problem? Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. And that means the existing food safety system, which relies heavily on support from federal agencies, can’t ensure that marijuana-infused foods are safe.

Purveyors of pot-laced foods say they want the regulation.

“We are under a microscope,” says Christie Lunsford, marketing and education director for Dixie Elixirs, a manufacturer of foods infused with THC. ” Even my competitors, who are food novices, they really care about providing for the consumer and making sure they’re safe.”

That’s created new demand for businesses like CannLabs, a facility where chemists pick apart marijuana products to find out if they’re safe to smoke or eat. Owner Genifer Murray is preparing for a boom in business.

“CannLabs started in a space of about 150 square feet,” she notes during a tour of the company’s offices. “This is about 500 and we’re moving to 2,000.”