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Arkansas Health Dept. Relaxes Lazy Cakes Brownie Ban (Updated!)

Updated: Apr 13

Following up on the previous post about Lazy Cakes, the melatonin-laced “relaxation brownie” that was recalled from store shelves by the Arkansas Dept. of Health in May:

Here’s a copy of a letter sent this week from ADH to an attorney (opens as PDF) for HBB LLC, the Memphis-based manufacturer of the product. It states that the department will “take no further enforcement action at this time” in the Lazy Cake (now to be known as “Lazy Larry”) ban in Arkansas. (My understanding is that the letter, though dated July 5, was actually sent on the afternoon of Thursday, July 7).

A full PDF is here, but it goes a little something like this:

While the Department continues to be concerned with the product, assuming that the label modifications are made as proposed, the Department will take no further enforcement action at this time. However, the Department will continue to study and gather data on the overall health effects of the product.

The letter specifically credits the revised labeling on the package (which I detailed in the previous post) as the reason for calling off the enforcement dogs, but emphasizes that the department will continue to monitor the product.

ADH spokesman Ed Barham confirms that “assuming the changes [to the product packaging] are made, that would make it possible for them to sell the product” in Arkansas.

I have contacted the company for more information on if and when the product will be returning to Arkansas shelves, but have thus far received no response.

UPDATE: Here’s a statement from Terry Harris, CEO of HBB, LLC, the manufacturer of Lazy Larry:

“Lazy Cakes, a product intended for adults only, were temporarily removed from shelves in Arkansas when the state expressed concerns over the the product’s label. Having made changes to the product label, we are happy to be able to offer the original Lazy Larry to Arkansas residents—many of whom have been contacting us begging to get their favorite relaxation item back in their local stores. Arkansas consumers should expect to see the new package on shelves in Arkansas in the coming days.”

Also, for additional context, here’s a copy of a letter sent to ADH (opens as PDF) by Miami attorney Andrew Ittleman, HBB’s legal representative, that provides more detail on the packaging modifications that the company proposed to get their product back in Arkansas.

By the way, at the jump is a quick and random listing of Arkansas media outlets that reported on the original recall of the Lazy Cakes product in May. Most of the reports unquestioningly and uncritically reflect the government agency’s unsupported assertion that the brownies constitute a public health threat. Will the lifting of the recall receive the same attention as its enactment?

KLRT (Memphis)

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