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Advisory issued over 'dangerous' cannabis products that look like children's snacks

  • Updated

State officials are warning the public about potent cannabis products being packaged to look like popular snacks.

Attorney General Letitia James' office issued an alert on Tuesday concerning illegal and unregulated products being sold online that are deceptively designed to look like standard snack foods and candy, but actually contain high levels of cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol and can be "extremely dangerous" to human health.

Although New York legalized adult-use cannabis earlier this year, the AG said, cannabis products for non-medical use are not yet being sold legally in the state. In other states where non-medical cannabis products are permitted for sale, a single adult serving size of an edible cannabis product contains 5 milligrams of THC, but a standard bag of lookalike Cheetos brand product contains 600 milligrams of THC. If a child were to consume the entire bag, the child would be consuming 120 times the maximum legal adult serving in those states.

In the first half of 2021 alone, the AG said, the American Association of Poison Control Centers has reported that poison control hotlines have received an estimated 2,622 calls for services related to young children ingesting illegal cannabis products.

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

“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 in a news 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.”

New Yorkers who are aware of or have encountered these type of products are encouraged to contact the AG's office by submitting a complaint form online or by calling (800) 771-7755.


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