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NY Attorney General warns parents of candy and snacks in 'deceptive' packaging containing 'dangerously high concentrations of THC'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 10/27/2021 tmitchell@insider.com (Taiyler Simone Mitchell)
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  • The New York AG advised parents to look out for deceptively packaged products.
  • She says these products contain "dangerously high concentrations of THC."
  • It is unlikely for consumers to fatally overdose on marijuana, according to the CDC.

The New York Attorney General tweeted Tuesday that New York parents should keep an eye out for "snacks and candy" in "deceptive" packaging containing "dangerously high concentrations of THC."

"New York parents should be on the alert for deceptive cannabis products that look like standard snacks and candy but contain dangerously high concentrations of THC," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a press statement Tuesday.

Tuesday's statement included pictures of a bag resembling Hot Cheeto Puffs containing marijuana edibles with 600mg of THC, which is "120 times the maximum legal adult serving in most states" if the whole bag is consumed, according to the statement.

The statement included other photos of THC products packaged to look like snacks such as Oreos, Sour Patch Kids, Fruity Pebbles, Nerds, and Doritos, all labeled with a THC amount. These products were not made by the brands' legitimate parent companies, like Frito-Lay, Mondel─ôz International, Post Consumer Brands LLC, and Ferrara Candy Company, who did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Several companies, such as the Hershey Company, the Ferrara Candy Company, and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company have filed lawsuits for misleading packaging in the past, according to Forbes.

The concern over "THC-laced" Halloween candy has appeared annually for years and often prompts social media discussion over its validity, according to Mashed and Complex.

Connecticut, Arkansas, and Ohio Attorneys General also warned of similar concerns.

Recreational cannabis use was made legal in New York for consumers over the age of 21, however, legal sales have yet to begin.

"These unregulated and deceptive cannabis products will only confuse and harm New Yorkers, which is why they have no place in our state," said Attorney General James in a press release. "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."

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, it is unlikely for consumers to fatally overdose on marijuana. However, possible symptoms of overconsuming marijuana include:

  • extreme confusion
  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • panic
  • fast heart rate
  • delusions or hallucinations
  • increased blood pressure
  • severe nausea or vomiting

Marijuana in edible form can more easily be overconsumed since it can take up to two hours for the effects to be felt, also according to the CDC website.

"If you're going to use these substances just realize that they look very attractive to kids, they're oftentimes packaged in tins or other packages that look very attractive to kids," Dr. Brian Schultz told CBS News.

According to CBS News, the American Association of Poison Control Centers said that the number of children under the age of 12 that have consumed edibles has increased largely in recent years - from 132 incidents in 2016 to 2,500 last year.

The CDC website also says that youth who unknowingly consume marijuana "are more likely to require hospital admission compared to older children who ingest similar concentrations due to their smaller size and weight and increased severity of symptoms."

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