Parents should be aware of cannabis products that look like candy

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LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is warning the public of the dangers of cannabis edibles and hemp derivatives in packages designed to resemble well-known snacks and candies. These products are unregulated, illegal and can be extremely dangerous. As Halloween approaches, parents should know that these similar products are available for sale online.

“Similar unregulated products are dangerous and marketed to children and young adults and, when consumed by a child, may have 120 times the potency of the legal maximum serving for adults,” said Rutledge. “If anyone sells these products to the Arkansans, I will hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law. If you see these similar products for sale, immediately report them to my office.”

These products may contain high concentrations of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and if consumed by children they can lead to accidental overdose. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the most common overdose incidents in children involve the ingestion of edible cannabis foods, and these overdoses are on the increase. In the first nine months of 2020, 80% of calls related to marijuana edibles to the Poison Control Center were for pediatric exposure. In the first half of 2021 alone, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that poison hotline calls received approximately 2,622 calls for services related to the ingestion of cannabis products by young children.

If a child ate the whole bag, they would consume 120 times the legal maximum serving for an adult. Individuals and businesses tasked with bringing these edibles within reach of children should carefully reconsider whether they choose to continue profiting from illegal sales of similar cannabis edibles. Sellers may be subject to legal action and substantial civil penalties under the Arkansas Deceptive Marketing Practices Act.

As with any other drug, adults should take strict precautions to ensure that children do not have access to any product containing cannabis. Products advertising cannabis should not be purchased online through drop shipping platforms. Parents are encouraged to speak with their children, including young adults, and to provide age-appropriate advice on the dangers of similar products.

Symptoms of a THC overdose include respiratory distress, loss of coordination, lethargy, and loss of consciousness. If you think your child has eaten a food with high amounts of THC and is getting sick, call the Arkansas Poison Control Line at 1-800-222-1222. Consumers who come across similar edible cannabis products are encouraged to file a complaint with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (501) 682-2007 or [email protected]

Print Title: AG Alert: Parents Should Be Aware of Cannabis Products That Look Like Candy


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