Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares wants Congress to act on ‘copycat’ marijuana edibles


Virginia’s attorney general is advocating for Congress to get involved in how “copycat” marijuana edibles are packaged in order to stop a trend of accidental consumption of the products by children.

Attorney General Jason Miyares said in a news release that the edibles are packaged in ways that mimic brand snacks such as Oreos, Doritos, Cheetos and Nerds candy.

Because of that, the attorney general said the copycat snacks are either unintentionally given to kids or mistakenly consumed by them, and it results in a child ingesting large amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound found in marijuana that produces the high sensation.

“As THC infused edibles become commonplace, some distributors have started advertising their products to look like popular candy and snack items,” Mr. Miyares said in the release. “Their deceiving appearance and packaging can confuse young children who come across them and has led to an increase in accidental consumption, putting their health at risk. To address this growing issue, I’m urging Congress, with a bipartisan coalition, for a comprehensive legislative solution.”

In a joint letter to Congress, Mr. Miyares asked that lawmakers “enact legislation authorizing trademark holders of well-known and trusted consumer packaged goods to hold accountable those malicious actors who are marketing illicit copycat THC edibles to children.”

Mr. Miyares cited an FDA advisory last month that said the National Poison Control Center received more than 10,000 reports involving edible marijuana products from January through May. Of those reports, 77% were patients who were 19 or younger.

The letter to Congress referenced specific instances where young children had ingested marijuana edibles.

In March, three Virginia children were taken to the hospital after they ate marijuana edibles that mimicked the Goldfish snacks at their child care facility.

Last fall, an elementary school teacher in South Carolina “inadvertently distributed” marijuana edible candies to their students that looked like Sour Patch Kids candies.

In August 2021, an Indiana toddler had to be hospitalized after they consumed a bag of fake “Cheetohs” that contained more than 600 mg of THC.

The letter says that unlicensed individuals and businesses make these copycat edibles and often infuse their products with levels of THC that exceed legal limits under state laws.

Mr. Miyares was joined by attorneys general from Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington state.


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