Connecticut Sues Retailers for Selling Illicit Cannabis Products

Many of the products featured packaging similar to popular consumer brands.

Frootloops
Office of the Attorney General - Connecticut

Attorney General William Tong filed seven new enforcement actions against wholesalers and retailers engaging in the distribution and sale of potent, illicit cannabis products in Connecticut.

Wholesalers include Shark Wholesale Corp. in Bridgeport, Star Enterprise 74, LLC, in New Britain, and RZ Smoke, Inc., in Suffield. The four retailers are Greenleaf Farms in New London, Smoker’s Corner in Norwich, Anesthesia Convenience & Smoke in New Haven, and Planet Zaza in East Haven.

In each instance, the Office of the Attorney General is alleging violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, which carries fines of up to $5,000 per violation.

“Cannabis is legal for adults in Connecticut, but it’s not a free-for-all—retailers must be licensed and legal cannabis products must comply with strict safety standards. Today, we are suing seven businesses—three wholesalers and four retailers-- who have sold potent, high-THC cannabis products in violation of Connecticut laws. None of these products have been subject to Connecticut’s rigorous testing standards or contain appropriate warnings. Some are sold in dangerous and misleading packaging designed to appeal to children. These products are designed to deceive consumers into believing they are safe, tested, and regulated—that is false. We have multiple active investigations into additional retailers and wholesalers, and we will keep the heat on so long as these dangerous, illegal products are sold,” said Attorney General Tong.

“Most of the products sold outside of our regulated market are untested and unsafe, especially if consumed by children,” said Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Bryan T. Cafferelli. â€śMany of these products are packaged in a way that is misleading – signaling to consumers that the product inside is safe when it is not – and, most shamefully, are often sold to people who are underage and may not realize the effects of what they are consuming. Adults who choose to consume cannabis should shop in the regulated market and keep their products out of sight and out of reach from children and teens. We also encourage parents to speak to their children about the harmful effects these unregulated products can have, and what they should do if they come across them.”

Residents over age 21 can legally possess and consume cannabis in Connecticut. Cannabis products may only be sold in the regulated market and must meet rigorous testing and packaging requirements. Cannabis products sold outside of the regulated market continue to be illegal and may subject sellers to civil and criminal penalties.

Despite that, sale of illegal delta-8 and delta-9 cannabis products and other high THC cannabis products continues in Connecticut. In unannounced visits to vape shops and gas stations, investigators from the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Consumer Protection continue to routinely find illegal cannabis products for sale, including blunts, marijuana flower, and edibles mimicking popular youth-oriented snack foods, including Fritos, Skittles, Airheads, and more.

Illegal look-alike cannabis products pose a unique health threat to children, who may unknowingly ingest high doses of potent psychoactive chemicals. In the regulated adult-use market, edible cannabis products may only be sold in containers that contain a maximum of 100 milligrams of total THC and 5 milligrams of total THC per serving size. Children who accidentally eat an entire snack-sized bag of “chips” or “candy” may be exposed to more than 100 times the maximum adult serving.Since 2021, the Connecticut Poison Control Center has received 400 calls regarding cannabis exposure in children, including 181 children under the age of 6 exposed to cannabis edibles. The majority of those cases required treatment at a heath care facility.

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