By Kevin Kelleher
March 18, 2019

David Klein, a confectioner often credited with creating the popular Jelly Belly candy, has launched a line of jelly beans infused with CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants.

Klein announced the new CBD candy on Instagram. His company, Spectrum Confections, sells CBD beans in 38 flavors, along with a set of 7 sugar-free jelly beans. Each bean contains 10mg of CBD. Spectrum has coated the beans with dextrose suger or Malitol to disguise the CBD flavor, which some people don’t like.

In 1976, Klein invented the Jelly Belly, a candy that became so beloved by President Reagan that he kept jars of them at Presidential meetings and sent them on a 1983 Challenger space-shuttle fight. Unlike other jelly beans, Jelly Belly—named after the blues musician Lead Belly—infused flavor into the insides of the candy as well as its shell, using natural purees to improve the taste. In 1980, Klein sold the trademark to the candy to the Goelitz Confectionery Company for about $5 million.

Spectrum’s website says that its standard package of 800 beans have all sold out. Because of high demand, the company is taking wholesale orders between 8,000 and 32,000 pieces. It also won’t process any CBD with a higher content than 0.3%.

Last fall, Coca-Cola said it was working with Aurora Cannabis to make drinks infused with CBD, a compound that can alleviate pain or anxiety but doesn’t give the high of THC. Like Coca-Cola, Spectrum is avoiding for now THC-infused candies. The FDA has looked askance recently on drug-infused products that could be marketed to adolescents, notably candy-flavored e-cigarettes.

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