Kate Douglas packages up marijuana-infused sour gummies at Wana Edibles on Oct. 6, 2015, in Boulder. (Paul Aiken, Daily Camera)

Marijuana-infused gummy bears in the crosshairs of Colorado lawmakers

A Colorado House of Representatives committee approved a bill that would ban marijuana edibles in the shapes of animals or fruits

Colorado lawmakers on Tuesday gave initial approval to a bill that would ban the sale of marijuana edibles made in the shapes of animals or fruits.

The goal of House Bill 1436 is to discourage young children from eating THC-infused products they mistake for kid-friendly candy. Marijuana-infused gummy bears and gummy worms currently sold in stores would be among the casualties if the bill passes.

A rule taking effect later this year will also require all marijuana edibles sold at stores to be marked with a symbol containing an exclamation point above the letters “THC.”

“Those types of products are confusing to children and that is indicated by the number of emergency room visits we’ve seen,” said Rep. Dan Pabon, a Denver Democrat who is one of the bill’s sponsors.

Since 2009, 19 children have been admitted to Children’s Hospital for issues related to marijuana ingestion, Desmond Runyan, the executive director of The Kempe Center, testified on Tuesday.

Opponents said the bill was too vague and could lead to the banning of all sorts of shapes.

“Our pot leaf could be construed as a slice of a star fruit,” said Dan Anglin, the owner of the marijuana edibles company AmeriCanna.

The bill was amended to protect edibles made in geometric shapes or in the shape of a pot leaf. It then passed the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee on a 10-2 vote. The bill still needs approval before the full House before moving over to the Senate.

John Ingold: 303-954-1068, jingold@denverpost.com or @johningold

This story was first published on DenverPost.com