Just in time for Halloween, a Colorado company is releasing a home testing kit that allows parents to screen their kids' candy for marijuana, CBS Denver reports. That comes on the heels of a local hospital and police department warning parents that edible marijuana products -- which are now legal in Colorado -- can easily be mistaken for Halloween candy.
"They need to look at every single piece of candy," said Jill Boyle, the emergency room director at St. Anthony's Summit Medical Center, told reporter Brian Maass. The hospital recently launched an informational campaign urging parents to be "edible aware."
"Edibles have a large amount of THC in them," Boyle said, referring to the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. "We don't want our children getting a hold of that and being critically ill."
Last week, concern about the effect on children prompted Colorado health officials to propose a ban on many edible forms of marijuana, including brownies, cookies and most candies, limiting legal sales of pot-infused food to lozenges and some liquids.
The Denver Police Department is also worried about edible marijuana and Halloween. Police officers teamed up with a marijuana dispensary to make a public service announcement.
"The problem is that some of these products look so similar to the products that have been on the market that we've eaten as children," Patrick Johnson, the owner of Urban Dispensary, says in the warning video. "There is really no way for a child or a parent or even an expert in the field to tell you if a product is infused or not."
Now a local company, CB Scientific, has come up with a $15 kit that empowers parents to test candy for THC at home.
CBS4 wanted to see if the kit works and created a blind test, providing a number of unwrapped candies and cookies, some containing marijuana and some without.
Derek LeBahn with CB Scientific demonstrated the procedure. He first selected a cookie, taking a pinch, and putting it in a test tube. He then added some solution and dye and shook the product. LeBahn explained the more red the solution becomes, the more potent the edible. Within seconds he could see that the cookie was negative for marijuana.
But the second cookie he tried was a different story. "See it turn pink? Definitely a positive for THC."
Then he tried testing a piece of chocolate. "Definitely positive for THC as it begins to turn pink," he said.
LeBahn noted that sometimes the test can take up to 10 minutes to make sure, explaining some products with a low level of THC may take longer to show a positive result.
The THC detection kit provides three tests for the $15 price. CBS Denver has more information on where the tests can be purchased.