OAKLAND, Calif. (KGET) — Thursday, Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a consumer alert for cannabis edibles being made to look like food and candy at a press conference at an Oakland Boys & Girls Club.
While some cannabis-infused edibles are legal, those made to look like major brands are illegal. The illegal products often contain levels of THC beyond the legal limit and are advertised to youth in violation of the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.
Bonta advised against consuming the products and urges those who come across them to report the products.
“The fact is here in California, we have a safe, regulated, and legal cannabis market,” Bonta said. “But if a product is being marketed to children, mimicking a well-known consumer brand, and advertising sky-high levels of THC — it’s not likely to be a part of it. I urge all Californians to look carefully at the packaging of the products they are purchasing and report these copycat products if they come across them.”
According to the New York Times, it is highly unlikely children will receive THC-laced candies, or any other dangerous items in their Halloween sack due to the high cost of these items.
California has seen a rise in pediatric exposure and ICU visits related to cannabis edibles in recent years, according to a news release from Bonta’s office. There has also been an increase in children as young as 12 years old who are using cannabis products.
In 2020, there were 1,173 calls to the Poison Control Center for services related to children age 0-19 ingesting cannabis products.
Children can experience a variety of delayed symptoms when consuming cannabis edibles, including, but not limited to difficulty breathing, lethargy, dizziness, nausea and loss of coordination, according to General Bonta’s office. Other side effects include rapid heart rate, agitation, vomiting, trouble breathing, or psychosis.
You can call California’s Poison Control System’s 24-hour hotline at 800-222-1222 if you need immediate assistance.
If you come across cannabis edible products, you can file a complaint with the California Department of Justice at www.oag.ca.gov/report. Complaints can also be filed to the California Department of Cannabis Control at cannabis.ca.gov/resources/file-complaint/.