The Nebraska State Attorney General, Mike Hilgers, has announced that they will be taking action against copycat THC products. Many THC-containing products are purposely made to mimic the appearance of well-known and loved products, such as Nerds and Fritos. These copycat products entice children who do not realize they are not the real product, and in turn, they end up ingesting THC. Hilgers had commissioned an investigation that has been ongoing for the last month. Following the results of the investigation, his office has filed lawsuits against retailers in more than ten counties in Nebraska.
The lawsuits have been filed on the grounds of violating consumer protection and deceptive trade practices laws.
Amidst these civil suits, there are even some criminal investigations that are ongoing against some of the retailers. Hilger’s office confirmed that these lawsuits are going to remain separate from the criminal investigations. They also specified that delta-8 products are the main targets in these civil cases. Delta-8 being one of the particular chemical compounds from cannabis used in THC products, especially edible ones.
Previously, Nebraska passed a law that legally limited the compound delta-9. The law passed in 2018 only specifically named this compound, so since, they have been dealing with repercussions of people finding loopholes. One such loophole has shown to be the leaning on delta-8 in products, which we now know has caused serious damage.
A part of Hilger’s investigation included testing to see if products were being accurately labeled.
The investigation team tested approximately one hundred products. Of the one hundred products, only about 15% showed accurate labels regarding ingredients and potency. Furthermore, products were showing that industrial solvents were possibly injected inside the product as well, in order to aid in the synthetic process needed to manufacture delta-8.
The retailers have criticized Hilger’s actions, from the investigation of them to the lawsuits, saying it is nothing more than a fear mongering tactic meant to scare Nebraska residents. Some smaller retailers are also pointing out the fact that they often are nothing more than distributors. One retailer said that her products all come from a larger vendor who provides a “certification of analysis,” with each product. She said manufacturers need to be targeted in the same way retailers are being. She also fully agreed that if products are mislabeled or misleading, they should be removed from store shelves.