NM shop sells 'meth candy' to honor 'Breaking Bad'

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The owner of an Albuquerque candy store is selling a product she's calling "meth candy" as she tries to play off the popularity of the hit TV-show "Breaking Bad."

Debbie Hall, owner of The Candy Lady, said Monday that the blue-tinted snack is merely sugar rock candy, though it bears a close resemblance to the blue crystal that is central to the plot of the Albuquerque-based TV drama.

In fact, it bears such a close resemblance because Hall said she supplied the "meth candy" for the show as props for the drug during previous seasons.

"We supplied the show when it first started," said Hall, who buys the raw candy from a wholesale dealer before retooling it. "It's just rock candy with blue dye and it looks like the real thing."

Hall didn't get the idea of selling the blue stuff until she saw actor Bryan Cranston, who plays Walter White, a chemistry teacher turned meth dealer on the AMC series, during an appearance on David Letterman last month. He pulled out a small bag of the blue candy on the show.

"Breaking Bad" follows Walter White producing and selling methamphetamine with a former student, Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul. The series is shot in Albuquerque.

Since Cranston's Letterman appearance, Hall said she has sold more than 300 bags of the meth lookalike. "The response has been great," said Hall. "They are all fans of 'Breaking Bad'...and fans of Albuquerque."

The Candy Lady isn't the only shop in Albuquerque trying to capitalize on the popularity of "Breaking Bad." A new doughnut shop on the city's northeast section, the Rebel Donut, is selling "Blue Sky Breaking Bad" doughnuts, fully equipped with blue sugar rock sprinkles on top of a vanilla-iced caked doughnut. The two-month old store has been selling it since the shop opened and regularly sells out.

In addition, ABQ Trolley Co. has sold out all tickets through September for "The BaD Tour" — a three-hour tour of "Breaking Bad" locations throughout Albuquerque that are shown prominently in the television series.

Matt Kennicott, a spokesman for the New Mexico Human Service Department, the state agency that tackles substance abuse, said although state officials support small businesses, owners need to understand the state's challenges with drug abuse. "We need to all be aware of the drug epidemic in this state," Kennicott said. "This is a serious problem we are facing."

For her part, Hall said she's not looking to glorifying meth and the drug trafficking business. "It is what it is. Everyone needs to remember this is television," she said. "We're just playing on a television show. I don't condone drugs in any way, shape or form."

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Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at https://twitter.com/russcontreras .

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