States Issue Collaborative Halloween Warning About Cannabis Candy Look-Alikes

Authorities in marijuana-legal states advise parents and children to be vigilant of infused treats
Written by 
Chris Kudialis, CBD and Cannabis Reporter.
|Last Updated:

This Halloween, the bag of Sour Patch Kids in children’s’ trick-or-treat sacks could offer a different kind of buzz than just the usual sugar and artificial sweeteners.

With the annual U.S. holiday just three days away, several state attorneys general across the country issued warnings on Wednesday advising parents to look out for marijuana edibles mimicking the color schemes and designs of popular candies. Attorneys general in Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, New York and Ohio said in statements that look-alike products could contain high THC concentrations and result in accidental overdoses.

“Not only are these products being sold illegally, but the deceptive packaging that does not clearly indicate to the consumer what they are ingesting is extremely dangerous,” according to a statement from Connecticut attorney general William Tong.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the most common overdose incidents among children involve edible cannabis, and such overdoses are on the rise. An estimated 70 to 80 percent of all cannabis-related calls to the federal Poison Control Center during the past three years have been for children.

Authorities say some of the illicit candy bags could contain 600 to 1,000 mg of THC, which is 60 to 100 times the maximum legal adult serving in most adult-use states.

The idea of such a scenario — a kid unknowingly coming home with a bag of marijuana gummies and getting sick after eating them — is certainly a daunting thought for many parents. But while authorities sound the alarm, cannabis advocates point out that hardly any such instances have ever actually happened.

The simple monetary cost of tricking innocent children into accidentally getting high would almost certainly outweigh the brief pleasure that any malicious-minded person could feel from poisoning them with cannabis edibles. A 500-milligram bag of THC-infused replica Cheetos cost at least $15 per package online, while other popular snacks and treats can go for more than $50 per pack.

A Delaware sociologist told the New York Times that the threat is practically baseless. There’s limited, if any, documented evidence of adults ever handing out high-priced cannabis treats to visiting children on Halloween.

The sociologist, a professor at the University of Delaware, said the folklore comes from people with no involvement in the industry that don’t realize how expensive it would be for someone to pull such a trick.


Chris Kudialis
Chris Kudialis
CBD and Cannabis Reporter
Chris Kudialis is the mainstream media’s authority on marijuana and CBD news coverage in Las Vegas. Chris began covering the beat as a reporter with the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2015, when cannabis had been medical-only for almost two years and the first dispensaries were just opening.

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