DENVER (CBS4) - Since the legalization of marijuana in Colorado an area of great concern has been marijuana edibles. There have been deaths linked to them and children sent to emergency rooms after mistaking them for candy.
The state has gone to great lengths to regulate edibles, but CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger found some people are bypassing the system by selling homemade edibles on professional looking websites.
Not only is the practice illegal, the products are often more potent than allowed and they even deliver in violation of the law.
CBS4 set up a deal to see how it's done. We ordered several items from a company calling itself Martha Stoner. We met outside at a strip mall in southeast Denver.
"Nice to meet you, tell me what you got," a CBS4 producer asked the woman who arrived with a bag in her hand.
"Do this is the magically delicious bar and the brownies are in there and I gave you a free hard candy," she replied.
The Martha Stoner Facebook page shows off what appears to be delicious looking candies laced with marijuana. To sell recreational marijuana in Colorado one must be licensed by the state and follow regulations. Delivery is not allowed. Potency is limited to 10mg per serving.
The woman from Martha Stoner told the CBS4 producer, "The bar is at least 100mg, the brownies are probably more 110, 120. The candies about 20mg."
The CBS4 producer wearing a hidden camera responded, "So I am going to be rocking and rolling?"
"Definitely," the woman assured.
The state regulations are 10mg THC per serving. Working groups have been meeting to tighten regulations including markings to keep edibles out of the hands of children.
Boulder-based Wana Brands is one of the licensed companies concerned about the homemade black market edibles.
Nancy Whiteman, co-owner of Wana, cautioned, "There is no way really to know what the potency is of those products or how carefully they've been made."
The woman from Martha Stoner told the CBS4 undercover producer that she makes the edibles at her home in her kitchen. She is not alone. CBS4 found numerous examples of homemade edibles for sale on the Internet. Many are listed with photos on Craigslist.
Teri Robinet of the Cannabis Patients Alliance says regulated medical marijuana edibles are often not strong enough, which creates a marketplace for the homemade variety.
"The black market often produces higher quality than regulated, potency limits are not restricted, and the pricing is much more affordable."
The woman CBS4 met from Martha Stoner announced the cost for the order would be $27. Instead of buying the items, Sallinger greeted the woman.
"Hi, Rick Sallinger from Channel 4. Can you explain to me how what you are doing is legal?"
She did not reply and kept walking as Sallinger asked, "Do you have a license from the state to sell marijuana edibles?" The state had no record for a company named Martha Stoner.
Licensed and regulated companies are now urging homemade edible makers to stop selling illegal products.
"If you want to get in this business do it in a legal regulated way and make it safe for the public," Whiteman said.
When CBS4 tried to reach Martha Stoner the Web page was gone and her phone was disconnected.
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