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Companies accused of marketing cannabis food products to kids

The Federal Trade Commission says these products might look like Doritos or Nerds candy, but they're actually infused with cannabis compounds.
Companies accused of marketing cannabis food products to kids
Posted at 12:07 PM, Jul 06, 2023

The Federal Trade Commission sent a cease and desist letter to six companies selling edible products containing one of the active ingredients in marijuana. The FTC claimed the products' packaging is "unfair and deceptive." 

The FTC said the packaging looks nearly identical to common products children eat, including Doritos, Cheetos and Nerds.

The FTC said the products' advertising could violate Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts in commerce that present unwarranted health or safety risks. 

The products allegedly contain Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, which the Food and Drug Administration says has psychoactive and intoxicating effects. The FDA said concentrated amounts of delta-8 THC are typically manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol. 

"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."

One of the products, pictured below, appears to look like a bag of Doritos. 

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Another one of the products, pictured below, closely resemble Nerds Rope candy. The FTC said the product contains multi-colored crunchy candies attached to a gummy rope.

The letters were sent to six different companies: Delta Munchies, Exclusive Hemp Farms, North Carolina Hemp Exchange, Dr. Smoke, Nikte's Wholesale and the Haunted Vapor Room. 

According to the FDA, there were 2,362 exposure cases of delta-8 THC products reported between Jan. 1, 2021, and Feb. 28, 2022. Of those, 40% involved unintentional exposure to delta-8 THC and 82% of these unintentional exposures affected pediatric patients. The FDA reported that 70% of the cases involved medical evaluation. 

The FTC says the companies have 15 days to respond to the letters.

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