SEMINOLE COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma District Attorney is warning parents and school administrators about copycat THC products.
According to DA Erik Johnson, an 11-year-old student at a local elementary school was caught with THC edibles that were packaged to look like snacks or candy.
“It was brought to my attention that copycat marijuana edibles were found in a local elementary school by the school principal,” Johnson stated. “I immediately assigned my Drug Task Force Agents to work with the Seminole School Resource Officer. We have recovered these edibles in copycat advertising packages, which are marketed to attract the attention of children.”
The confiscated products were packaged to resemble Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Lucky Charms and Trolli Gummy Worms, officials say.
DA Johnson says the packaging was almost identical to snacks you’d find at a grocery store with little to no indications that the snacks contained THC.
“We join the District Attorney’s Office in letting parents know about this issue- we want it to [stop] before it is here to stay, and we need the help from all of our students’ families to prevent this from happening,” said Dr. Bob Gragg, Superintendent of Seminole Public Schools. “We shouldn’t have to deal with this issue while trying to educate our children, and this irresponsible practice of the marijuana industry in Oklahoma is directly aimed our children and needs to stop now.”
Officials say in 2022, attorneys general from 23 states, including Oklahoma, commissioned a bipartisan letter to Congress, asking that they take action against the copycat products.
The letter said in part, “The undersigned Attorneys General do not all agree on the best regulatory scheme for a cannabis and THC generally, but we all agree on one thing: copycat THC edibles pose a grave risk to the health, safety, and welfare of our children.”
Other popular snacks that are reportedly copied are Oreos, Startburst, Sour Patch Kids, Doritos and Nerds.
According to Johnson, the State of Virginia passed legislation in 2022 that bans copycat THC products. It prohibits the manufacturing and sale of THC products designed in a way that they might appeal to children. It also bans counterfeit packaging that could be mistaken for popular food brands.
“It’s time that Oklahoma follows Virginia’s lead and start implementing legislation to protect our children from these products, and to further take aim at these retail marijuana shops that are violating the terms of their OMMA permits and market copycat edibles to children in our communities,” Johnson said.
The State of Oklahoma does not currently have a limit on the potency of edibles. Johnson says the “Lucky Charms” copycat edibles contained 1000 mg of THC, and the others contained at least 200 ml per package, according to officials.
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority says products that contain THC should not be packaged in a way that appeal to children.
“Labels, packages, and containers shall not be attractive to minors and shall not contain any content that reasonably appears to target children, including toys, cartoon characters, and similar images.” OMMA said.
“I want all parents in my district to be aware of this copycat marijuana edible packaging, because it is here now, and we have a duty to protect our children,” said Johnson. “I will exhaust all legal avenues to prevent this, including civil actions under the Consumer Protection Act. I’ve met with representatives from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, and they concur in my position: we jointly condemn this irresponsible practice of selling copycat edibles in packaging that is marketed to our children.”