(Legal Hemp)

Weed’s equivalent to NA beer: These pot-flavored edibles have no THC

We’re somewhat stumped here at Cannabist HQ this morning. We’re looking at Legal Hemp’s website, where the company peddles marijuana-flavored candies — lollipops, chocolate bars, jelly beans — that have no THC in them.

You read that right: Legal Hemp is selling edibles that are infused with the flavors of cannabis but none of the psychoactive component THC. It says so on the bottom of every page on their website: “Edible products offered for sale by the Cannabis Candy Company & Hemp Candy Company contain Zero Percent (0%) Tetrahydrocannabinol (T.H.C.). Products that have Cannabis flavor oil or extract ingredients are in compliance with legal requirements relating to the legal sale of the products in the United States.”

It’s a curious offering, one we don’t really understand the need for. We emailed Legal Hemp this morning in hopes of asking them some questions but didn’t hear back from the company, which is a division of Nevada-based, OTC-traded Cal-Bay International.

Edibles 101: Here are eight tips for getting the right dose when eating marijuana-infused edibles

Have we already arrived at a societal place where, like regular beer and non-alcoholic beer, we need an non-infused but properly flavored substitute for marijuana edibles? Do we need these products for kitsch value — or practical jokes, the latter of which seems cruel and unnecessary? And also, why is a company calling itself Legal Hemp building out an e-commerce platform complete with ladies-cut logo T-shirts and men’s monogrammed polo shirts that are all 100 percent cotton — and not hemp?

Maybe we’re missing the point of “THC-free candy products produced from cannabis oil essences.” Maybe it’s a novelty item that will thrill people in states where you can’t purchase the real thing.

But flags are again raised when you read how they advertise their jelly beans: “An original sour green jelly bean taste with a hint of marijuana essence.”

Most marijuana-infused edibles manufacturers look for ways to cover up the taste of cannabis, not accentuate it. As Boulder resident James Howler — the man behind the popular edibles Cheeba Chews and Dabba mint-chocolate bars — told us in January: “We tried a lot of different recipes, but nothing came close to covering the taste of cannabis like mint.

Are we missing the point? Would you ever buy these products?