UK-based confectionery expert Andy Baxendale is assisting a firm in Oakland, California, US, to develop a range of legal medicinal cannabis sweets that will be launched within the state to complement the company’s existing series of products.

The industry consultant, who is an editorial board member of Confectionery Production, was contacted by Sublime Canna, which promotes the positive role marijuana can play in enhancing quality of life in the treatment of medical conditions.

During his visit, Baxendale, who has 23 years experience in the confectionery business with a Master of Science (MSc) in Advanced Food Manufacture, taught staff techniques such as sugar panning, the method for adding a candy “shell” to sweets. The cannabis sweets are said to be launched strictly for use in California, which became the first American state to permit the use of cannabis for medicinal use in 1996. Since then, a number of areas in the US have followed in its footsteps in permitting the substance for treatment.

Flavourings being considered for the new sweets include include orange, peppermint, spearmint, and strawberry, with the consultant hoping to return to Oakland to assist with the development of the next product they require in their range. The UK Government has relaxed the laws on use of cannabis for medicinal purposes following several high-profile cases involving children who need it to help control seizures.

As well as children, there is also growing evidence that suggest cannabis can help patients living with epilepsy, MS, cancer and other serious conditions.

Baxendale, a former product development manager at Chewits in the UK, said: “There is a much different attitude to cannabis in much of America as well as a recognition of its health benefits. The range of products that are available – all through dispensaries, not general sale – is astounding, and there is growing evidence that it really can promote good general health in addition to the host of other positive effects.”