Central Florida Law Enforcement Warns of THC-Laced Edibles that Resemble Common Snack Foods
ORLANDO, Fla. - With Halloween right around the corner, law enforcement officials are urging parents to check their children’s candy. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Orlando District Office has issued a warning to the public about products that look identical to common snack foods and candy, but actually contain high levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive ingredient of cannabis.
In recent weeks, federal and state law enforcement officials in Central Florida have made several seizures of THC-laced foods and candies, commonly known as ‘edibles.’ The THC-laced edibles are disguised as common snack foods in extremely sophisticated packaging with exact weights, color schemes, and protected branding, and it may be difficult to differentiate between the two. As the edibles packaging is nearly identical to snack foods and candies that children receive at Halloween, it could easily be misconstrued by innocent children as a Halloween treat.
The way to spot the difference in the products is by checking the package for a warning label or graphic that indicates the product contains cannabis, THC, or a similar Schedule I Controlled Substance.
“Although actual incidents of drugs being passed to children on Halloween may be rare, we encourage parents and guardians to check their children’s candy before allowing them to consume their treats,” said DEA Orlando District Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge Marcus Anderson. “DEA remains dedicated to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure the information gets out to our communities to keep them healthy and safe during the holiday season.”
“Our local communities are safer today because of the investigative work of HSI and our law enforcement partners,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge Micah McCombs. “We hope this serves as a reminder to parents and guardians to pay close attention this Halloween, and as always, ‘If you see something, say something.’”
“Protecting children’s health during holidays is a critical component of FDA’s mission to protect the public health,” said Special Agent in Charge Justin C. Fielder, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations Miami Field Office. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to help ensure the safety of FDA-regulated products in the marketplace.”
To make sure treats are safe for children, the FDA recommends following these simple steps: Halloween Food Safety Tips for Parents | FDA.
The DEA Orlando District Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa and Orlando Offices, the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA OCI), and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) are leading the investigations with assistance from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. A special thank you to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Florida, which is taking a leadership role in the enforcement efforts.