NEW YORK — Parents are being warned about snack foods that have deceptively designed packaging and actually contain cannabis.
New York Attorney General Letitia James issued an alert about snacks and candy that contain high levels of cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that are packaged in such a way that it is not obvious that they contain those substances.
The Office of the Attorney General warns these illegal and unregulated products can be dangerous, urging parents to be alert about the online sale of these products.
“These unregulated and deceptive cannabis products will only confuse and harm New Yorkers, which is why they have no place in our state,” James said. “It is essential that we limit their access to protect our communities and, more specifically, our children. In light of an increase in accidental overdoses among children nationwide, 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. My office is committed to preventing the sale of these products and protecting the wellbeing of all New Yorkers. I urge everyone to remain vigilant against these products and to report these harmful items to my office immediately.”
These products contain a high level of THC, which if eaten by kids can lead to an accidental overdose, according to the the Attorney General's Office. The most common overdose incidents happen when kids eat edible cannabis foods, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Last year, 70% of calls related to marijuana edibles to the Poison Control Center were about children under 5 years old. Symptoms of THC overdose include respiratory distress, loss of coordination, lethargy, and loss of consciousness. Parents should call New York Regional Poison Control Centers at 1-800-222-1222 if they suspect their child is sick from eating marijuana edibles.
New York state legalized adult-use cannabis, but non-medical use products are not being sold legally in the state yet.
An adult serving of edible cannabis contains 5 milligrams of THC, but a standard bag of THC lookalike Cheetos contains 600 milligrams per bag, 120 times the legal limit.
The Attorney General's Office is suggesting that like with any other drug, adults take strong precaution to make sure children cannot access them.
People are asked to report these products if they encounter them on the online complaint form or by calling (800) 771-7755.