Weed cookies resembling Oreos and Chips Ahoy brand cookies sold in Long Beach, New York, are prompting concerns over “targeting children,” New York Senator Todd Kaminsky said.
These treats containing synthetic marijuana are marketed as “Double Stuf Stoneos” and “Trips Ahoy” with packaging extremely similar to the famous snack brands they appear to be based on, according to WABC. They were found at a wellness store named Dr. Nature in Long Beach.
“This is extremely discouraging and alarming to know that these products could end up in the hands of our young children who think they’re having an afternoon snack. That cannot be allowed,” he also said.
The cookies contain Delta-8, a psychoactive, hemp-based substance found in cannabis plants that is legal in New York.
Dr. Nature’s shop owner reportedly did not know the packaged cookies contained the marijuana ingredient, according to officials.
Police said that when they spoke with the owner, he removed the treats from the shelf, according to WABC.
“He was actually proactive about it,” a police officer said.
Kaminsky and local Long Island officials are calling on the New York State Department of Health to immediately ban Delta-8.
“Due to Delta-8 THC being naturally found in hemp, retailers have exploited this loophole since hemp is not illegal,” said a letter addressed to the New York Health Department’s Commissioner Howard Zucker signed by Kaminsky and three other local officials on Wednesday.
“Companies are taking advantage of the loophole by putting their products in packaging that is clearly targeting children in a very dangerous way,” said Kaminsky at a press conference with other local officials Tuesday.
“This means that many unregulated cigarette stores and ‘health products’ retailers sell products containing Delta-8 THC,” the letter said.
It added the state is still “working on creating a state-licensed and state-regulated adult marijuana use industry” that “includes specific provisions limiting youth access.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation legalizing recreational marijuana on April 30.
“Our new state law even requires the new regulations to look at rules restricting marketing and advertising to youth,” the letter said. “Yet, to allow a hemp compound so similar to marijuana to go unregulated is ridiculous and dangerous.”
The letter is in response to the health department’s Cannabinoid Hemp program’s proposed revised regulations as part of the department’s overall regulations that are subject to public comment until July 19, said Jill Montag, the state health department’s communications director, wrote to Newsweek.
“After such time, the Department will assess all comments and if no further changes are necessary, adopt the regulations as written, at which time the prohibition on products manufactured with Delta 8 created through isomerization will be immediately effective,” she said.
“DOH has the responsibility to protect Long Islanders by taking swift action to prohibit the unregulated sale of products containing Delta-8,” the letter concluded.
Newsweek reached out to Kaminsky for additional comment but did not hear back in time for publication.