BUFFALO, N.Y. — In the week leading up to Halloween of 2021, Attorney General Letitia James issued a press release warning parents to be on the lookout for cannabis products that could look like candy.
"These unregulated and deceptive cannabis products will only confuse and harm New Yorkers, which is why they have no place in our state,” Attorney General James said in the release.
James urged New Yorkers to contact her office if they encountered any cannabis products after trick or treating on Halloween.
2 On Your Side reached out to the AG's office on November 5 and November 10 to ask about any reports of deceptive cannabis packaging.
After not getting a response, WGRZ filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request in January for the information.
In May, after multiple delays, the Attorney General provided the information.
They received one complaint, saying:
"A medical marijuana dispensary sold her stale or spoiled medical marijuana and she cannot [get] any help. The business denies her claim, and she claims DOH [Department of Health] won't communicate with her."
Even though several of news stations across New York and national organizations picked up on the release issued by the Attorney General, only one complaint was filed.
But health officials still say there's room for concern regarding cannabis products that look like candy, and kids being susceptible to trying them.
"Just by the nature of the edible products that they can oftentimes be confused, particularly by small children, for non-THC-containing products," said Dr. Vincent Calleo, Medical Director for the Upstate Poison Center in Syracuse.
"We have gotten a large number of calls to the poison center for unintentional exposures."
Dr. Calleo says the issue isn't so much the packaging, it's that the product simply looks like candy kids would want to eat.
"Definitely is something that serves as a great concern for us here," Dr. Calleo said.
Recently, Kelly Dudzik spoke with the Public Health Director for Chautauqua County who highlights a package of knock-off "Sweet Tart" gummies that contained 600mg of THC, per gummy.
For Dr. Calleo, while the Attorney General's push to get New Yorkers to report deceptive packaging provided lackluster results, the urgency for parents to keep these products out of kids' hands and mouths remains.
"Keep these things locked up out of sight and out of reach," Dr. Calleo said. "Hopefully help to be a preventative measure, that will make it so the child doesn't ever end up getting exposed."