The company released the limited edition Schoko & Gras (Chocolate & Grass in English) bars earlier this year in its home country, and they are packaged in a bright green wrapping that features a picture of a hemp leaf.
The product, which is a 30% milk chocolate, contains 7.5% hemp seeds per serving, according to Ritter Sport.
Beth Forman, Ritter Sport’s brand manager, told ConfectioneryNews there isn’t marijuana added to the chocolate, and the roasted organic hemp seeds do not give a psychoactive effect to the consumer.
“Nothing is going to happen. You are not going to get a buzz,” she said. “Hemp has its own nutritional profile, and it has been used in other edible products. It is a fun and healthy dessert option.”
Forman added Ritter Sport sees the US market as an opportunity for its hemp chocolate because states, including Kentucky, are looking to remove non-psychoactive cannabis varieties such as hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.
The Controlled Substances Act was signed into law by former US President Nixon in the 1970s to tackle drug abuse across the country.
However it groups marijuana with all types of cannabis, and makes it illegal to grow all of them in the US, according to MinistryofHemp.com. The law not only “led to the demise of hemp, but also an increased misconception of the plant,” the site said.
From a cultivation standpoint, hemp requires “minimal care, and it is adaptable to grow in most climates,” while marijuana needs to be grown in “carefully controlled atmosphere,” it added.
Forman said Ritter Sport is currently manufacturing its hemp chocolate in Waldenbuch, Germany, and she will keep confectionerynews.com posted once the product is approved in the US.