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Copycat Marketing Puts Consumers At Risk

Be sure to carefully examine that bag of Doritos before buying it – especially when children are around. CNN recently reported on copycat cannabis products, one example product packaging was nearly identical to the popular candy Gushers.


With a closer look, the label shows the product contains 500 milligrams of THC – the psychoactive component of the marijuana plant, tetrahydrocannabinol. Another look-alike bag of Doritos contained 600 milligrams.


According to a new study, even a small portion of an imposter bag of Doritos or other popular consumer products that contain THC would “overwhelm a child.”


These marketing tactics are putting children at significant risk. A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics examined calls to U.S. regional poison control centers from 2017 to 2019 and found there were 4,172 cannabis exposure cases in children up to 9 years old. Nearly half of the calls involved cannabis edibles. In 2020, more than 70 percent of calls about marijuana edibles involved children under the age of 5, prompting concerns from regulators including New York Attorney General Letitia James who issued a consumer alert.


"Many cannabis edibles companies are overstepping on marketing in an egregious way, putting consumers at risk and infringing on the trademarks of well-known and trusted confectionery brands," according to National Confectioners Association.


Experts continue to warn consumers about the “Wild West of cannabis marketing,” and caution that until the marketplace is “tamed through regulation, the responsibility falls on parents to protect their children.” CDC recommends keeping all marijuana products out of the reach of children and in childproof containers.


To read the full CNN coverage, click here.