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CT AG Tong announces crackdown on Delta-8 THC products

Attorney General William Tong sued five retailers for the alleged sale of illegal delta-8 THC products, his office announced on Thursday. Additionally, Attorney General Tong is putting all licensed retailers of electronic vaping products in the state on notice that they, too, might be in violation of Connecticut law.

Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, less potent than the more common delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC still produces a high similar to that experienced when smoking or ingesting marijuana.

In Connecticut, the sale of delta-8 THC products that exceed .3 percent THC on a dry weight is illegal. Delta-8 THC products that exceed that THC limit are considered cannabis products and can only be sold in the regulated market. 

“Cannabis products in Connecticut cannot be sold by unlicensed retailers and must meet rigorous testing and packaging requirements. Period. Any unlicensed Connecticut retailer selling delta-8 THC products that purport to contain high levels of THC is breaking the law and may be subject to both criminal and civil penalties,” Attorney General Tong said. “Lest there be any confusion, we are sending letters to thousands of vape shops who might sell these products in Connecticut outlining the laws and demanding that they remove any illegal products from their shelves immediately.”

The lawsuits and warnings come following an undercover investigation by the Office of the Attorney General in late December that found the delta-8 products being sold illegally in several vape shops and one gas station. In many instances, according to the Office of the Attorney General, the products on display mimicked popular candies and snack foods, like Fritos, Skittles, Airheads, and more. 

“The five retailers we are suing today offered some of the most egregious look-alike edibles posing the worst risks for accidental youth poisoning,” Attorney General Tong said. “None of these edibles are tested or approved for sale in Connecticut and packaging statements regarding THC content and safe serving sizes are not to be trusted. If you see delta-8 THC offered outside any licensed cannabis retailer, do not purchase it, and report it to my office immediately.”

Both the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration have recently issued warnings of the potential for accidental poisoning due to the products marking themselves in a way that is appealing to children. 

Between January 2021 and February 2022, national poison control centers fielded over 2,000 calls regarding delta-8. Almost half the calls, 41 percent, involved children accidentally ingesting the products.

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Tom Hopkins

A national, award-winning journalist from Bristol, Tom has a passion for writing. Prior to joining CII, he worked in print, television, and as a freelance journalist. He has taken deep dives into sexual assault allegations by Connecticut professors, uncovered issues at state-run prisons, and covered evictions in the New Britain Herald. He chose to focus on issues based in Connecticut because this is his home, and this is where he wants his work to make the greatest impact.

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