Virginia Attorney General Lobbies for Ban on Copycat THC Edibles

June 22, 2022
Three Virginia toddlers were hospitalized after eating THC infused crackers that look like Goldfish.

Virginia’s Attorney General Jason Miyares today (June 22) held a press conference to increase pressure on Congress to ban THC-laced copycat products after three toddlers in his state were hospitalized after eating THC-infused crackers designed to look like the popular children’s snack Goldfish.

Apparently there is a loophole in existing law that enables some of this copycatting of famous brands; and in other cases “bad actors” package and sell THC products in packaging that looks like familiar food brands until they’re caught, only to be replaced by other suppliers of these products.

States across the country reported similar incidents of children ingesting THC-laced copycat products, including Oreos, Trix cereal and Cheetos. Sometimes the children found familiar-looking packages when their parents weren’t looking; sometimes the parents inadvertently gave the wrong product to their kids.

Marijuana products are becoming legal in more and more states. While all state attorneys general do not agree on the best regulatory scheme for cannabis and THC, “They all agree on one thing: Copycat THC edibles pose a grave risk to the health, safety, and welfare of our children,” said Miyares.

On June 16, the FDA reported that the National Poison Control Centers received 10,448 single substance exposure cases involving only edible products with THC between Jan. 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022, according to the attorney general’s news release. Nearly 80% of these cases involved children under the age of 19.

More than a dozen CPG companies and industry groups sent a letter April 27 urging Congress to address the problem of companies using copycat images and trademarks to sell THC-infused edibles.

Miyares was joined by Stacy Papadopoulos, General Counsel and SVP-Operations and Initiatives for Consumer Brands Association, and Stafford County Sheriff Danny Decatur.

“Congress should immediately 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,” the Virginia release concluded.

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