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AG James issues alert about Cannabis products deceptively packaged to look like snacks, candy

Real examples of cannabis product packaging deceptively designed

Real examples of cannabis product packaging deceptively designed to look like standard snacks and candy, according to Attorney General Letitia James, who issued an alert about them.  Credit: Attorney General New York

They look just like popular children's snack foods with names such as Stoney Patch and Double Stuff Stoneo.

But these deceptively packaged treats, which look nearly identical to Sour Patch Kids and Oreos, pack more than just sugar and actually contain high levels of cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol, according to State Attorney General Letitia James, who issued an alert on the products Tuesday.

These weed-filled snacks, James said, which are often sold online, are illegal and unregulated in the state and can be dangerous if consumed by children.

"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."

While state lawmakers legalized recreational adult-use marijuana earlier this year, retail and online sales of it are not yet legal.

And while a typical edible cannabis product contains 5 milligrams of THC, a bag of look-alike Cheetos-brand product contains 600 milligrams of THC — more than 120 times the maximum legal adult serving in most states, officials said.

The most common overdose incidents among children now involve ingestion of edible cannabis foods, leading to potential accidental overdoses, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Last year, more than 70% of calls related to marijuana edibles to the Poison Control Center involved children under the age of 5.

In the first half of 2021, the American Association of Poison Control Centers said hotlines received more than 2,600 calls related to children ingesting cannabis products.

Symptoms of THC overdose include respiratory distress, loss of coordination, lethargy and loss of consciousness. New Yorkers who suspect their child has become sick from consuming food containing THC are encouraged to call the New York Regional Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222.

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