A group of attorneys general, led by those in legal adult use cannabis states like California, New York, and Virginia, are urging Congress to address the risks that unregulated “copycat edibles” pose to children.
The group is “gravely concerned about the dangers of copycat tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) edibles in our communities, particularly the risk they pose to our children,” according to the letter.
At the heart of the issue is that while states with legal cannabis go out of their way to reduce the degree to which edibles appeal to children, unlicensed operators don’t.
“Congress should immediately enact legislation authorizing trademark holders of well-known and trusted consumer packaged goods to hold accountable those malicious actors who are using those marks to market illicit copycat THC edibles to children,” the attorneys general wrote.
In April, Consumer Brands Association sent a letter to Congress, signed by companies like Kellogg Company and PepsiCo, Inc., urging its leaders to “immediately address the dangers copycat THC edibles pose to consumers, especially children,” as Cannabis Wire reported.
In May, the U.S Food and Drug Administration also issued an alert related to accidental ingestion of THC-containing edibles, especially “copycat” products. Specifically, the FDA called out lookalikes in the form of cereals like Cap’n Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, and Fruity Pebbles, and candies like Nerds Ropes, Starbursts, and Sour Patch Kids, among others, as Cannabis Wire reported.
“The FDA is actively working with federal and state partners to further address the concerns related to these products and monitoring the market for adverse events, product complaints, and other emerging cannabis-derived products of potential concern,” the alert read. That alert was updated on June 16 to include cannabis-related Poison Control data.
The United States is a vast patchwork of cannabis policies, though nearly every state has some form of legal adult or medical use. Still, unregulated and illegal cannabis products are widely available. Some of those THC-containing products are knock-offs of Cheetos or Oreos, as the letter noted. The letter also gave examples of children ingesting these products in Virginia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Indiana.
“The undersigned Attorneys General do not all agree on the best regulatory scheme for cannabis and THC generally, but we all agree on one thing: copycat THC edibles pose a grave risk to the health, safety, and welfare of our children,” the letter noted.