Giglio Urges Stiffer Penalties for Misleading Pot-Laced Product Packaging

Republicans are targeting pot-laced product packaging
Republicans are targeting pot-laced product packaging

Selling marijuana-infused foods in packaging that mimics brand-name snacks would be a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison under a bill proposed by the New York State legislator representing the North Fork.

Holding up a board with examples of products that look like widely sold products such as Cheetos, Sweet Tarts and Oreos — each with subtle indicators that they contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that gives users a feeling of euphoria — State Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead) rallied with fellow lawmakers calling for passage of the bill.

“With the legalization of marijuana and THC in New York, we’ve been slow to properly legislate protections on packaging to keep our kids safe,” Giglio said. “My bill would make it a Class D felony to advertise, deceptively advertise, brand, market, package, display, label, offer for ingestion outside of packaging, or administer cannabis products, including unconventional methods of administration or ingestion or edible consumption of cannabis products.”

Suffolk County police have busted multiple local businesses selling such products without a license since the state legalized recreational marijuana for adults older than 21. Such illegal sales have proliferated amid a slow rollout of legal dispensaries, none of which are open on Long Island. In some cases, children have mistaken the pot-laced products for regular candy and required medical attention.

State Sen. Dean Murray (R-Patchogue), who is sponsoring the bill in the state Senate, echoed calls for the bill’s passage, but Republicans in the minority of the Democratic-controlled State Legislature face an uphill battle getting the bill passed.