Warnings Sent for ‘Imitation’ Delta-8 Edibles

Stephen Andrews
19 Sep 2023

Hemp-derived cannabinoids such as Delta-8 have consistently been a subject of dispute as well as increased scrutiny from regulators. Products are usually billed to offer a milder form of high, recommended for those who don’t have much of a tolerance for high THC. What most recently prompted reactions from government agencies FTC and FDA, has been the problematic packaging of some of these products.

A recent press release from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) demonstrates a continuation in action from authorities against companies who manufacture edibles infused with Delta-8, a hemp-derived form of THC. The big problem with some of these products is the packaging that resembles popular snack brands such as Doritos tortillas, Cheetos cheese treats, and Nerds candy. The FTC’s reaction from July 3, demanded that “firms immediately change unfair and deceptive packaging.” 

Most Vulnerable to Reckless Packaging Are Children

The recent ‘cease and desist’ letter from July, is actually a joint statement from both the FTC and FDA. Representatives from both government agencies voiced their concerns in the press statement. 

“Marketing edible THC products that can be easily mistaken by children for regular foods is reckless and illegal,” Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Samuel Levine, said in a statement. “Companies must ensure that their products are marketed safely and responsibly, especially when it comes to protecting the well-being of children,” Levine said. 

According to the FDA’s Principal Deputy Commissioner, Janet Woodcock, the potential harm that these products can cause to children is the main reason why the agencies have decided to issue warning letters to six companies that are selling food items infused with Delta-8 THC. The items can be easily mistaken with popular brands that children find appealing, and ingesting can often result in hospitalization. 

“Children are more vulnerable than adults to the effects of THC, with many who have been sickened and even hospitalized after eating ‘edibles’ containing it,” Woodcock said.

The FTC and FDA sent the warning letters for imitation Delta-8 THC infused edibles to the following companies

  • Delta Munchies LLC (Los Angeles, California)
  • Exclusive Hemp Farms (Gilroy, California) and Etienne-DuBois, LLC/Oshipt (Henrico, Virginia)
  • North Carolina Hemp Exchange, LLC, dba NC Hemp Shoppe (Raleigh, North Carolina)
  • Dr. Smoke, LLC, aka Dr. S, LLC (Kansas City, Missouri)
  • Nikte’s Wholesale, LLC (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
  • The Haunted Vapor Room (Franklin, New Jersey). 

The FTC and FDA sent the letters after reviewing the online marketing activities around the Delta-8 THC products sold by the companies in question. The Commission determined that their advertising is in breach with Section 5 of the FTC Act, which aims to protect against unfair and deceptive practices in commerce. 

The letters emphasize that preventing practices which pose health and safety risks, especially among children, is one of the Commission’s highest priorities. Delta-8 THC imitation foods that children might find attractive completely checks the criteria. 

It would not be the first time that federal agencies sent out warning letters related to the use and marketing of hemp-derived cannabinoids, however. 

In May 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to Delta-8 manufacturers who promoted their products as beneficial for the treatment of various health conditions. Some of the companies that were targeted in that warning sold CBD products with a false premise that they can treat or prevent COVID-19. 

Another recent letter from FDA has said that Delta-9 THCO and Delta-8 THCO are not the same as hemp. This particular communication has explicitly outlined that the synthetic cannabinoids cannot count as hemp, and are therefore subject to the Controlled Substances Act. 

The production of copycat edibles is also a thorn in the side of companies that manufacture the original snacks. An example is candy giant Mars, which won a lawsuit last year against a Canadian online cannabis retailer for selling infused candy that resembled very much like Skittles. 

More related news on Soft Secrets: 

DEA Statement: Delta-9-THCO and Delta-8-THCO Not Hemp

- The War on Copycat Candy 

Google Lifts Ban on Hemp and CBD Ads in Select Region

Stephen Andrews