In a recent column, I noted the lack of evidence that people try to get kids high on Halloween by passing off cannabis candy as ordinary treats. The Denver Police Department's inability to cite a single actual example of such a prank in Colorado or anywhere else has not stopped it from warning parents about the possibility, over and over again. With Halloween approaching, the department has been hyping this mythical menace on its Facebook page, building on the alarm generated by the podcast and video it produced on the subject. Recently the Pueblo Police Department joined the fear mongering.
Police in both cities urge parents to be on the alert for candy that looks unfamilar or seems to have been tampered with. But such precautions hardly seem adequate in dealing with a determined cannabis concealer, who could always rewrap marijuana-infused treats in familiar packaging or dose conventional candy with store-bought tincture. For parents who worry about such trickery, CB Scientific has a solution: a kit that you can use to quickly test Halloween treats for cannabis.
The Denver-based company, which should be paying a commission to the cops in Denver and Pueblo, sells the kits for $15 each. But each kit can be used to test only three samples, so the cost of screening every tiny chocolate bar, jawbreaker, and jelly bean can quickly add up. It would be considerably cheaper just to throw out the entire haul and buy your kid replacement candy, although you can never be completely sure that no one has tampered with the stuff at the store either. As far as we know, it has never happened. But it's possible!
Addendum: Via Facebook, Derek Lebahn, a partner at CB Scientific, tells me he thinks the risk highlighted by police in Colorado has been blown out of proportion:
Thanks for the mention, but the Halloween story about CB Scientific is strictly a product of timing. The problem had been identified by the news and Denver PD for weeks and we happened to have just released a solution. We do not believe that any children in Denver will be randomly given THC candy by adults. If it happens, it will be by a relative or irresponsible teenager.
Lebahn emphasizes that his company's kits are mainly intended for "patients, adult consumers, parents of patients, breeders and producers" who want to "quickly and accurately know the relative levels of THC and CBD potency in their products." Still, CB Scientific clearly capitalized on the candy scare. Its home page features CBS Denver's story about its product, which plays up the Halloween angle, and Lebahn proudly notes the coverage on his Facebook page. "We did it," he writes. "Our news story has gone Viral." Then Lebahn adds: "Not that we believe anyone will be passing out pot candy to kids, but if something does get mixed up or questioned, we do have a quick, accurate way of knowing."