THC-laced candy: What police say parents should look closely for

“You do a drug deal with THC products and these guys come strapped,” says a narcotics officer

Seguin – Drug-laced edibles marketed to adults in packaging resembling popular candies are illegal in Texas, but they’re in our community, says Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge F. Dante Sorianello.

“When you see these things packaged like this, it looks like candies that you’re buying there at the grocery register,” he said. And, these candies can be hard to spot. “There’s not a hypodermic needle with some heroin in it. So it’s, you know, it’s very deceptive.”

The THC-laced edibles, he explains, are smuggled in from states where this is legal, like California and Colorado.

But there are also CBD edibles, which are legal for adults because they contain less than .3% of THC content, although Sorianello says the products are not well regulated.

“They’re marketing these edibles allegedly to adults. But then, why are you packaging it like candy?" he said.

Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Narcotic Lt. John Flores says they’re seeing more of these drug-laced edibles on the streets.

“It’s a lot more common now than it was last year,” he explains.

Flores said he thinks the way the drugs are packaged are easier to mail without raising huge flags. But he’s concerned at how accessible this bad candy is to minors or even children who don’t know the difference.

“A kid looks at it and says, ‘I’m going to eat six gummy bears like normal,’ or ‘I’m going to eat six Nerds like normal.’ And next thing you know, they just ate a large concentration of THC edibles,” Flores adds.

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Sorianello says the edibles that are purchased in states where it’s legal may contain a warning label, but those sold in the black market might not. The DEA says look for misspelled words, odd color or smell to the candy.

On September 18, GCSO seized several pounds of drugs that included candy made to look like Skittles, Nerds, and other popular bands. The day before, Gillespie County Sheriff deputies swiped 23 pounds of THC edibles.

That same week, Hays County sheriff investigators made an arrest where they found several THC-laced drugs that included Warheads, Airheads and Skittles look alike drugs.

Lt. Flores said these edibles are related to more violent crimes as well.

“Most narcotic-related homicides or robberies have to do with THC products,” he explains.

According to stats by the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, which includes members with Seguin Police and Cibolo Police Departments, there’s been an increase in the number of cases involving people who are in possession of a firearm while committing a narcotic-related offense.

In 2019, it was roughly 21.98 % with 75 guns confiscated in 2020. So far, it’s 24.15%, involving 97 guns. In 2019, 42 cases involved someone in possession of a firearm and narcotics and in 2020, 57 suspects were found with both.

Flores says of the 2019 cases, 33 of those in possession of a firearm were also in possession of marijuana or a THC extract. In 2020, 48 of the 57 cases was a person in possession of a firearm and marijuana or a THC extract.

“You do a drug deal with THC products and these guys come strapped,” Flores said. “There’s a lot more money to be made in it.”

The growing trend and relaxed prosecution involving these types of drugs is concerning to them.

Parents who discover their kid in possession of these drugs should contact law enforcement so they can investigate where the drugs are coming from.

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