A new marijuana-themed candy is drawing concern over the possibility of increased drug use among young people.
Some 1,000 stores across the country are selling the product, known as "Potheads."
The candies are shaped like marijuana plants and sold as lollipops, gummy sours, and ring pops.
"We spot trends that are in the marketplace and we make products to capitalize on those trends," Potheads manufacturer Andrew Kalan said.
Kalan claimed his candy has sold well in the last six months. And although the products are obviously designed for kids, he said he's not concerned young people will get the wrong idea.
"I don't personally view candy as a gateway drug," he said. "They're expressing a political position and it's a First Amendment right."
In the neighborhoods near Kalan's operation, the leafy sweets are generating mixed reviews.
"Adults can eat this candy, too," resident Ian Rosenkranz said. "Nobody can say it's all for children, so I think it's pretty cool. Whoever designed the marketing is pretty smart."
"These children have enough pressure as it is out there. They don't need that," opponent Barbara Rollerson said.
In Buffalo, N.Y., business leaders say they're outraged that local stores are selling this latest gimmick.
"To make a product like that appealing to young adults, knowing the consequences just boggles the mind," Fred Merukeb, with the Arab-American Business Association, said.
Leaders have organized a task force to identify who's selling the controversial candy and plan to pressure them to stop.
"People need to know that any store that we learn of this disrespect and immorality, will be dealt with swiftly by whatever measures necessary," Buffalo community activist Charley Fisher III warned.