Twenty-three state attorneys general have called on Congress to address marijuana copycat products that resemble common, name-brand food products. Representing a wide diversity of states, the AGs sent a letter to congressional leaders demanding action to prevent the sale of such products. They expressed grave concern about the dangers and risks that copycat THC edibles pose to our communities, especially to children.

The letter was authored shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers about copycat marijuana-infused food products that resemble well-known brands and the risks of accidentally ingesting THC. It alleges that the copycat packaging of the THC products is done deliberately to market to children, designed to “mimic brands so closely that only a perspicacious adult” could readily distinguish them from the authentic brands. While the copycats are often infused with THC levels exceeding legal limits under state laws, the health and safety threats they pose are a nationwide concern.

According to an FDA report cited in the letter, 41% of 2,362 reported THC exposure cases between January 2021 and February 2022 involved pediatric patients. The AGs letter mentions several instances of child hospitalizations after children unknowingly consumed THC-laced crackers, chips, or candies that were packaged to mimic popular snack brands. The instances took place in Virginia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Indiana, including at childcare facilities and in elementary school classrooms.

As expressed by the AGs, States alone cannot curb this growing threat. The letter urges Congress to immediately enact legislation authorizing trademark holders of well-known brands to hold accountable those using the popular marks to market illicit THC edibles to children. The AGs concluded by recognizing their long-standing and cooperative role in protecting consumers and pushing congressional leadership to think creatively for potential solutions.