By Kyle Arnold
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Critics of a snortable chocolate powder have raised alarm regarding its effect on young people when used in large quantities. The substance is made from raw cacao powder (from cacao pods) and energy-drink ingredients such as taurine and guarana.
A snortable chocolate powder developed by an Orlando resident is drawing fire from a top lawmaker in Washington, D.C.
Orlando-based Legal Lean is selling a powdered chocolate meant to be snorted under the name Coco Loko. It’s for sale on Legal Lean’s website, as well as Amazon, where a 1.25 ounce container costs $24.99.
At least one Orlando-area doctor said snorting cocoa powder may cause harm, while U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday calling for an investigation into Coco Loko.
“The math for the FDA is clear: This suspect product has no clear health value. It is falsely held up to be chocolate, when it is a powerful stimulant. And they market it like a drug, and they tell users to take it like a drug, by snorting it,” said a statement from Schumer. “It is crystal clear that the FDA needs to wake up and launch a formal investigation into so-called Coco Loko before too many of our young people are damaged by it.”
Schumer said he’s worried Coco Loko is being marketed like a drug and could appeal to children.
“Normalizing stimulants and drug consumption-like behavior is anything but harmless for our young people,” Schumer said.
Legal Lean founder Nick Anderson said he learned about snorting cocoa powder from online videos posted by Europeans.
“It’s a raw cocoa and chocolate snuff,” Anderson told the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s a big trend in Europe, and I was thinking there would probably be a big demand for it here.”