The Biden administration this week ordered six companies to stop their illegal sales of food products that contain cannabis and are dressed up to look like popular kids’ snacks.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent cease and desist letters to the companies for trying to get their products to look like “chips, cookies, candy, gummies or other snack food items” such as Doritos, Cheetos and Nerds candy. The agencies said the products can be accidently taken by children or used in too large of doses by adults due to misleading marketing.
Letters went to Delta Munchies, LLC; Exclusive Hemp Farms; North Carolina Hemp Exchange, LLC; Dr. Smoke, LLC; Nikte’s Wholesale, LLC, and The Haunted Vapor Room. The FDA said the copycat snacks contain varying levels of Delta-8 THC, which is a substance extracted from cannabis to provide the psychoactive impact of the plant.
The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission sent cease and desist letters to the companies for trying to get their products to look like “chips, cookies, candy, gummies or other snack food items” such as Doritos, Cheetos and Nerds candy. (Federal Trade Commission)
Delta-8 THC has not been evaluated or approved for safe use by the FDA. The agency said it has received reports of serious adverse events from the substance such as “hallucinations, vomiting, tremor, anxiety, dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness.”
More than 40% of all human poison exposure cases in 2020 were from children ingesting marijuana edibles, according to a study this year in the journal Pediatrics that relied on data from the National Poison Data System. The study concluded cases of pediatric ingestion of edibles has steadily increased from 2017 to 2021.
The FTC determined the copycat snacks may violate Section 5 of the FTC Act, which bans deceptive products or commerce. As a result, the FTC sent the companies “cease and desist” letters.
“Marketing edible THC products that can be easily mistaken by children for regular foods is reckless and illegal,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Companies must ensure that their products are marketed safely and responsibly, especially when it comes to protecting the well-being of children.”