AUSTIN (KXAN) — Even though Texas hasn’t legalized the sale of recreational marijuana, area law enforcement agencies are noticing a trend of marijuana edibles similar to those sold in Colorado and other states.
Lt. Pat Connor with the Austin Police Department’s Organized Crime Division says his officers are confiscating more Tetrahydrocannabinol oil (known on the streets as THC) and edibles, such as candies and foods.
“While we are seeing more of it, it’s not an epidemic by any means,” said Connor. “When there is a market and demand for it, someone is willing to capitalize on it.”
Police are concerned about the extraction process, which can be dangerous if not done correctly.
“This is what they do to make ‘shatter’, which [users] can take the shards and smoke it,” explains Connor. “If you’re off-gassing it, the gas will sit in the area and potentially explode if there is a spark.”
In March 2013, two people were injured at the Waters at Bluff Springs Apartments when their unit exploded after police say they were cooking marijuana to capture the THC vapors.
A report from the work group in Colorado showed a nearly nearly four-fold increase in poison control calls from 2001 to 2013 about kids accidentally exposed to marijuana. Still, the report describes the rate as low, with 26 calls in 2013.
The Marijuana Policy Project encourages responsible use of edibles through its own campaign. It advises consumers where edibles are legal to start off slowly and keep the products away from children.
Earlier this year, KXAN reported APD is seizing more marijuana with ties to places where it is grown legally. The department’s Organized Crime Division seized 580 pounds of marijuana in 2014, more than twice much as the year before, according to APD data.