FDA warns companies selling THC products resembling candy, cookies.

FDA warns companies selling THC products resembling candy, cookies.

FDA and FTC Warn Companies Selling Cannabis Copycat Food Products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued warnings to six companies selling copycat food products that contain delta-8 THC, a substance found in the cannabis sativa plant. These products, which mimic popular snack foods, have the potential to trick people, including children, into consuming dangerous quantities of cannabis.

According to the FDA, these snack foods can be easily mistaken for regular chips, cookies, candies, and gummies, posing a significant risk to children who may unknowingly ingest high doses of delta-8 THC. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of THC, with many cases of sickness and hospitalization reported after the consumption of edibles containing it.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, the FDA’s Principal Deputy Commissioner, emphasized the importance of issuing warnings to these companies. She stated that the copycat food products can be easily mistaken for popular foods that are appealing to children, which increases the likelihood of ingestion in very high doses without realizing it. The ingestion of delta-8 THC has serious adverse effects, including hallucinations, vomiting, tremors, anxiety, dizziness, confusion, and even loss of consciousness.

The six companies that received warning letters from the FDA are Delta Munchies, Dr. Smoke LLC (also known as Dr. S LLC), Exclusive Hemp Farms/Oshipt, Nikte’s Wholesale LLC, North Carolina Hemp Exchange LLC, and The Haunted Vapor Room. These companies intentionally mimic well-known snack food brands by using similar names, logos, or pictures on packaging, which can easily confuse consumers, especially children. The FDA is not only concerned about the risks posed to children but also the potential for unintentional ingestion or higher doses by adults, leading to serious consequences, particularly for those who drive, work, or have other responsibilities.

In addition to the psychoactive and intoxicating effects of delta-8 THC, the FDA is also concerned about the production methods used by these companies. There is a risk of harmful contaminants being present in the products, making them even more dangerous.

Samuel Levine, the Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, stressed that marketing edible THC products that can be easily mistaken for regular foods is both reckless and illegal. Companies have a responsibility to ensure the safe and responsible marketing of their products, especially to protect the well-being of children.

This is not the first time the FDA has warned consumers about the consumption of foods containing delta-8 THC. In June 2022, the FDA issued a similar warning, having received 125 adverse event reports since January 2021. Of these reports, 10 specifically mentioned that the edible product was a copycat of a popular snack food.

Consumers who suspect that a product has caused a reaction or illness should immediately stop using it and contact their healthcare provider. Adverse reactions with FDA-regulated products can be reported to the agency using MedWatch or the Safety Reporting Portal.

The FDA has requested written responses from the six companies within 15 working days. These companies are expected to address the violations and present plans for preventing similar incidents from occurring in the future. Failure to respond promptly may result in legal action.

Dr. Woodcock reaffirmed the FDA’s commitment to taking action against companies that illegally sell regulated products that pose a risk to public health.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, news release, July 5, 2023

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