Lawmakers, school officials rally against THC compound-infused snacks
A group of lawmakers, school officials and parents rallied outside Long Beach City Hall to urge the state to ban the THC compound used in snacks being sold on the South Shore.
Concerns have been rampant over the snacks, which look very similar to classic cookies but actually contain a THC compound.
For example, instead of Chips Ahoy, one package says Trips Ahoy, and the popular Oreos are packaged as Stoneo.
One serving size is just a fourth of a tiny cookie, and health experts have warned that it could lead to poisoning in kids if they get their hands on it.
MORE: Long Beach school officials issue warning about THC-laced cookies packaged as popular favorites
Because the cookies are made from a slightly different compound that comes from hemp, they're technically legal right now.
It is known as Delta 8 and is legal to sell in New York at CBD and hemp stores to anyone over the age of 21.
Delta 8 is slightly chemically different from the compound in Delta 9, which is in marijuana.
"We know that Delta 8 is an excuse that store owners use to say, 'Hey, we can sell this, it's Delta 8,'" said state Sen. Todd Kaminsky.
Kaminsky and other lawmakers sent a letter to the state Health Department asking the state to outlaw Delta 8 and pull those packages from shelves. They say if an adult legally buys it but leaves it lying around, a kid could eat it not knowing what it is and become very sick.
Suffolk Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron says when they were made aware that the products were being sold locally, they went to all CBD dealers. The products were found at one shop but were already taken off shelves because an adult customer had a bad reaction to it.
A warning came in a message to families from the Long Beach superintendent, who wrote, "I am sure you are as horrified as I am at the way these are obviously targeting children and young people. My nightmare is that young children might consume these without even realizing what they are."
Addiction specialist Jeffrey Reynolds, with Family and Children's Association, says products like these are especially harmful to children.
"When we're talking about children, we're talking about developing brains," says Reynolds. "We're talking about developing body parts and organs, and the possibility of poisoning is very significant. The possibility of long-term damage is in the mix."
The Long Beach police commissioner says his officers went around to all the CBD stores in Long Beach Tuesday and only one was selling the cookies. He says the owner of that store agreed to pull them from the shelves, even though they are currently legal.