Right before Halloween, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued an alert to parents warning them about cannabis edibles disguised as kid-friendly snacks.
The products look just like recognizable brands of chips, cookies, and candy, but with small labels indicating they contain THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. If a consumer did not closely inspect the packaging and ate one of these products the way they would a regular snack food, they would be getting a LOT of THC in one sitting. If a child were to eat the whole bag of lookalike Cheetos, for instance, they would be consuming 120 times the maximum legal adult serving in most states.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the most common overdose incidents among children involve ingestion of edible cannabis foods. In 2020, more than 70 percent of calls related to marijuana edibles to the Poison Control Center involved children under the age of 5. "In light of an increase in accidental overdoses among children nationwide," James said, "it is more vital than ever that we do everything we can to curb this crisis and prevent any further harm, or even worse, death."
This is not the first time adult substances have been dressed in kid-friendly packaging. In 2018 and 2020, the FDA and FTC took action against the makers and sellers of tobacco products that resembled juice boxes, cereal, and candy.
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