Marijuana edibles that mimic the packaging of popular snack foods pose a risk to children, a new study warns.
Researchers looked at the packaging of more than 200 types of edible marijuana products and found that nearly one in 10 resembled commercial snack foods, including candies and chips.
“At first glance, most of the packages look almost exactly like familiar snacks. If these copycat cannabis products are not stored safely, there is the potential for accidental ingestion by children or adults,” says lead author Danielle Ompad. She is an associate professor of epidemiology in the School of Global Public Health at New York University.
Food brands aren’t taking legal action
“Policies to prevent cannabis packaging from appealing to children haven’t stopped copycat products from entering the market — nor have food brands taken legal action against cannabis companies for copyright infringement,” Ompad said in a university news release.
The researchers also noted that these “copycat” marijuana edibles have levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the main psychoactive compound in marijuana — that far exceed limits set by states.
The dangers of marijuana edibles for young children
Marijuana edibles are popular. In states where cannabis use is legal, 56% of users consume edibles, with younger people more likely to do so, the researchers note.
But edibles aren’t safe for youngsters, experts warn. U.S. Poison Control Centers handled nearly 2,000 cases of children aged 9 years and younger consuming edibles from 2017 to 2019.
For their study, Ompad and her colleagues analyzed the packaging of 267 edible cannabis products. They found that 8% closely resembled