Copycat THC products to be banned in Virginia starting July 1
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Copycat THC products will soon become illegal in Virginia.
The effort comes as more children are being hospitalized for exposure to THC - the part of the marijuana plant that makes people high.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares announced the new law during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Copycat THC products are THC-laced candy or snacks that mimic well-known brands like Doritos, Lucky Charms and Starbust. Miyares said the look-alikes are behind the blame for exposure to children.
“This is not by accident. This is not somebody messing up a label. This is direct action directly marketing products directly to our children,” Miyares said.
The copycat THC products are currently being sold in stores across Virginia and violators will face very expensive fines starting July 1.
The striking similarities in packaging make it difficult for people, especially children, to spot the difference.
“We’ve seen children with very profound central nervous system depression where they can’t stand up. They’re not very responsive,” Dr. Ruddy Rose, the director of the Virginia Poison Center said.
Nationwide, the FDA found over 10,000 edible exposure cases reported to poison centers from January 2021 to May 2022. Nearly 80% of them were pediatric cases.
“It’s absolutely no surprise that these cases are increasing. They more than doubled 2020 to 2021, and it looks like we’re now on pace to far exceed 2021 in 2022,” Rose said.
As additional efforts will be enforced next week, Rose urges parents to take preventative action now.
“It’s a potent drug, and it absolutely has to be kept out of sight and out of reach of children,” Rose said.
There is concern about getting these products from out of state by making purchases online. To prevent this from happening, Miyares and 21 other attorneys generals sent a letter to the U.S. House Wednesday urging for federal action to take place.
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