Local News

Authorities concerned about candy that could get kids high

Posted October 20, 2017 5:57 p.m. EDT
Updated October 27, 2017 10:15 a.m. EDT

Editor's Note: In our original story on October 20, 2017, WRAL News used Koi CBD candies as an example to help illustrate the story.  However, all of Koi CBD's products mentioned in the story are lab tested to ensure 0% THC content. 

State law enforcement officers are sounding the alarm about drugs packaged in a way that could entice children.

Gummi candy and lollipops containing cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound found in marijuana and hemp plants, are being sold in vapor shops in North Carolina.

CBD doesn't have the same pschyoactive effects as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, found in marijuana, but experts say it can give you euphoric feeling. Yet, CBD isn't regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and isn't illegal to purchase.

Although the CBD products are marked "Not a Candy," and "Keep out of reach of children" on the back of the packaging, parent Catherine Scrimshaw said she doesn't think that goes far enough.

"It feels like a candy. It looks like a candy. I don't know many children who'd turn it over and read the label," Scrimshaw said. "I mean, I have a 6-year-old who can read, and she'd say, 'Oh, Mommy, gummi candy.' She'd be excited about this."

Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright said his school resource officers haven't come across any of the CBD products on school campuses, but the color of the packaging concerns him.

"Being that Halloween is coming up, this package here basically favors the Halloween colors," Wright said. "I want to inform these parents to ensure that they look at every piece of candy that these young people are bringing home."

Jason Locklear, an agent with the state Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement, said shops in the Cumberland County area are sold out of lollipops with CBD. He's also concerned about a vaporless inhaler that gives a person a hit of the compound.

While the packaging on many of the products say they don't contain THC, Locklear said that isn't always accurate.

"We're finding that, when we send some of these products to the North Carolina State Crime Lab, that they're coming back positive for THC," he said.

"Anybody in the school system should be alarmed. Parents should be alarmed," Locklear said. "Any employer, if you have individuals doing a sensitive job that is a high-risk job, such as construction or anything like that, that someone could be, that they could be altered, that their mind state could be altered by consuming this."

"I definitely need to be aware, definitely need to be looking for this CBD," parent Eric Howard said.

State lawmakers legalized CBD oil three years ago for the treatment of seizure disorders. Medical experts say studies also have suggested CBD could help various conditions, from multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease to anxiety and insomnia.